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THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 

GIFT 



From the Library of 

Henry Goldman, Ph.D. 

1886-1972 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 




THK ECLIPSE 1895. 



LATER PEEPS AT 
PARLIAMENT 

TAKEN FROM BEHIND 
THE SPEAKER'S CHAIR 



BY HENRY W. LUCY 

ILLUSTRATED BY 
F. C. GOULD 




MCMV 
LONDON : GEORGE NEWNES, LIMITED, 
SOUTHAMPTON STREET, STRAND, W.C. 






TO 

THE MEMORY OF 

SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT 

A GREAT COMMONER 
THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED 



7521 R9 



PREFACE 

The friendly reception that welcomed the appearance of 
earlier Peeps at Parliament was occasionally varied by criti- 
cism directed against their point of view. It was complained 
that the reader, anticipating introduction to scenes in the 
current Parliament, found himself stranded on a shore passed 
by at dates going back for ten years. 

I must plead absence of responsibility for this disappoint- 
ment. The several notes were avowedly written under the 
dates given. Their chief value, such as it is, is their touch 
with contemporary events, recorded as they passed. 

The advantage of this method of presenting Parliamentary 
history is strikingly shown in the work of my colleague 
F. C. G. He has drawn Parliament men as they flitted 
through the scenes enacted, and described in this and the 
preceding volume, during the decade dating from 1893. 
The passage of ten years brings changes to all men. Look- 
ing over these pages in proof, I confess I am struck by the 
difference in the personal appearance of old acquaintances 
who still hold place in the Parliament of to-day. 

Of course, those still with us have gained in dignity. 

The sadness comes in when, glancing over the pages, one 

vii 



viii LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 

finds how many who commanded attention in the Parlia- 
ments of the last ten years of the Nineteenth century 
have answered Adsum to the old lobby cry, " Who goes 
home ? " 

To the memory of one of these this little work is in- 

^^^^^^^- H. W. L. 

Reform Club, April 1905. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER 

I. December 



SESSION 1896 



PAGS; 

I 



SESSION 1897 



II. January 

III. February 

I\'. March 

V. April 

VI. May 

VII. June 

VIII. July 

IX. August 



X. February 
XI. March 
XII. April 
XIII. May 
XIV. June 
XV. July 
XVI. August 
XVII. September 



XVIII. February 
XIX. March 
XX. April 



SESSION 1898 



SESSION 1899 



12 

24 

52 
67 
81 

87 
98 



III 
127 
142 

154 
166 
181 
194 
207 



222 
236 
248 



IX 



X 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



CHAPTER 

XXI. May 
XXII. June 

XXIII. July 

XXIV. August 



XXV. January . 

XXVI. February 

XXVII. April 

XXVIII. May 

XXIX. June 

XXX. July 

XXXI. August 

XXXII. November 



XXXIII. February 

XXXIV. April 
XXXV. May 

XXXVI. June 
XXXVII. July 
XXXVIII. August 



XXXIX. February 
XL. March 
XLI. April 
XLII. May 
XLIII. June 
XLIV. July 
XLV. August 
XLVI. October 
XLVII. November 
XLVI 1 1. December 

INDEX 



SESSION 1900 



SESSION 1901 



SESSION 1902 



PAGE 
261 

287 



-^ n ^ 

j3j 
345 
356 
369 
380 
388 



398 
410 
418 
431 
444 
456 



465 

473 
480 
492 

503 
514 
525 
530 
536 
544 

551 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



Eclipse of 1895 
The Rush from the Lobby 
" Division ! " . 

The late Sir Robert Peel (after Richard Doyle) 
The late Sir Robert Peel 
Mr. Rochfort Maguire 
The late Sir George Campbell 
" What a Fearful Creature ! " 
Sir Richard Temple turns his Back on the House 
Waiting for an Opening 
Trying to Catch the Speakei-'s Eye 
Missed ! 

Mr. Courtney's Back Up 
Mr. Leck^s Maiden Effort 
Mr. Augustine Birrell's " Obiter Dicta 
Lord Morris , 
The late Lord Coleridge 
" I sha'n't Sign the Estimates 
"Gerald" 

A Horrible Discovery . 
"Who Killed Parnell?" 
A Terrible Offence 
Notice to Quit 
Eviction 

"Cold, isn't it, Arthur" 
" Awfully Cold " 
" Bellowing Contumely " . 
"He steadfastly regarded the Yelling Mob" 

xi 



PAGE 

Frontispiece 

2 

3 
6 

7 
9 

14 

'5 
17 
19 

19 
20 
21 

26 
27 
30 
30 
31 
34 
41 
41 
44 
45 
45 
50 



54 



xu 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



" Dexterously balancing the Hat" 
" With Courteous Gesture " 
" Some old Eton Boys " 
" A grand old Eton Boy " 
" Sir Henry James going up to the Lords 
Sir George Trevelyan . 
Mr. Joseph Arch 
Mr. Michael Davitt 
Tlie Four Quarters of Mr. J. F. X. O'Brien 
In Westminster Hall . 
Mr. Rhodes and the Map 
Enter the Committee . 
Mr. Parnell Rises 
With Hat tilted over Brow 
An uncomfortable Position 
Sir Henry Edwards and his Statue 
Sir Henry Edwards on a Trial Trip 
Trying on O'Connell's Hat 
Lord Randolph Churchill 
Lord Melbourne — 1837. Lord Salisbury- 
Ministers) 
Old Westminster Hall . 
Lord Tweedmouth and the New Rifle . 
Mr. Pitt .... 

Very like Sir Frank Lockwood 
" Anguished Impotence " 
" Crushed Again ! "' . 
Mr. William White 
"Where's my Umbrella ?" 
Mr. Wilson, the Doorkeeper 
Mr. Caldwell, M.P. . 
Sir Matthew White-Ridley is Funny 
Sir Michael Hicks-Beach 
The Midnight Telephone 
Substance and Shadow- 
Lord Hugh Cecil 



897 (two Prime 



55 
56 
58 
59 
59 
60 

64 
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67 
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11 
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76 

n 
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79 
84 

86 
88 
92 

93 
93 
96 
96 
100 

lOI 

102 
103 
104 
105 
106 
108 
109 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



"A Towering Impatience" 

" One of the Kindest of Men " 

" A way of Sitting upon People" 

" A Prisoner in the House of Lords ' 

Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman 

Mr. Asquith . 

Sir Edward Grey 

Sir Isaac Holden 

" A Baron of High Degree " 

The Unexpected Footprint 

Upright and Stiff-backed 

The Race for the Leadership 

In the Place of Disraeli 

Sir Richard Webster led Captive 

" I am not an Agricultural Labourer ' 

" Bobby," as he might have been 

Brawler. Beware ! ! . 

The Fire and Fury 

The Calm and Philosophical 

Time Travels Quickly ! I 

The Earl of Halsbury . 

"Is this Justice ? '' . 

" The Lost Writ " 

" Placing a Coronet on his Brow " 

" Nolo Coronari " 

Sir John Mowbray 

" After the Interview " 

The late Sir G. O. Morgan 

The New Portmanteau 

Colonel Sir E. Gourley 

Mr. Talbot 

Sir John Kennaway 

" Popping on and off the Woolsack " 

The Cross Benches 

Daybreak on Westminster Bridge 

The late Sir Henry Havelock- Allan 



xui 

PAGE 

12 
12 

13 
16 
18 
20 

22 

23 

25 
28 

29 
jl 

33 
36 
'37 
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38 
39 
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.42 

t43 
[44 

:45 

146 

48 

50 
52 
53 
55 
55 
56 
58 
58 
[60 
[62 



XIV 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



Horse Marines 



Serjeant Hemphill .... 

Mr. Hermon Hodge .... 

Mr. Swift MacNeill : " Have you seen Mr. Ward '" 

" The Head of the Army and Chief of the Fleet " 

"Strolling in Late" . 

" Bracing him up " 

A " Ballon D'Essai " . 

" Ah, yes, I used to sing it, but that was years ago ■ 

" The Red Line " 

Cap'en Tommy Bowles, of the 

" Young Mowbray " 

" Wrong Again ! " 

" In Solitary State " 

" Laying " 

The Whigs take Fright 

Mr. Jesse Collings leads the Attack 

Mr. Labouchere as the Messenger of the Gods 

Captain O'Shea 

Sir Lewis Mclver 

Mr. Whitbread 

Joseph addressing his Brethren. An Historical 

Mr. Caine keeping Mr. Bright advised 

The Friendly Broker . 

Storming Down to Downing Street 

A Glowing Glance 

The late Lord Playfair 

Mr. Plimsoll's Outburst 

The Bust of Lord Randolph Churchill 

The ex-Speaker — Scathing Indignation 

The Lord Chancellor quietly drops in 

Sir John Brunner : " No thanks, I don't want any 

to-day " . 
Walking out for the Last Time 
He took a great Interest in Punch 
" An Attractive Listener " 
A little Friendly Advice 



Fragment 



ronclad 



163 

164 

164 

165 

167 

167 

168 

170 

171 

173 

174 

175 

176 

179 

181 

182 

184 

185 

187 

188 

189 

191 

191 

193 

195 

196 

198 

201 

202 

203 

206 
207 
208 
209 
2 1 '^ 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



XV 



What ! not remember it ? it was only forty-eight years ago 

The Duke of Argyll writes to the Times 

Writing a Post-card .... 

Facsimile of one of Mr. Gladstone's Post-cards 

A Beef-eater, temp. Henry VIII. 

Inspector Horsley .... 

A Cave-Man ..... 

Shelved with a Peerage (Baron de Worms) 

" Who knew not Jemmy " . 

The humble Function of the Football . 

The Buffer State .... 

The late Lord Winchilsea 

At a Four-mile-an-hour Pace . 

An early Appearance in the Parliamentary Ring 

M.P., Olden Time .... 

Charles James Fox .... 

Dr. Johnson watching Parliament 

Baron " Ferdy " . . . . 

A keen Scent for Jobs (Mr, Hanbury) . 

Lord Althorp (after H.K.B.) . 

William IV. (after H.K.B.) 

Sir Henry James and the Cotton Duties Tribesmen 

Sir Henry Fowler's Charge 

The Deceased Wife's Sister 

" The Air of a Stolid Man surveying the Capering of a Cage of 
Monkeys "'.... 

Mr. Johnston in Prison 

Beating the Orange Drum 

" A Pensioner " . . . . 

" The Lost Eye-glass "... 

Lord Herschell — A Sketch in the Lobby 

Lord Herschell as Lord Chancellor 

On Guard — Sir William Walrond, Chief Conservative Whip 

The late Mr. T. E. Ellis— Chief Liberal Whip . 

The Mace of the House of Commons . 

" What on Earth is my Name ? " 



PAGE 
219 

222 
224 
22 ^ 
226 
226 
227 
229 
230 

^37 
239 
241 
242 

243 
246 
248 
249 
252 

253 
256 

257 

259 
260 

261 
264 
265 
266 
268 
269 
271 

273 



XVI 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



Tom Ellis ..... 

" Sitting out a Debate "... 

" Mr. Chamberlain takes a Note " 

" The Chief Secretary's fragile frame " . 

" Mental and Physical Youth -' — Mr. James Lowther 

" The Serjeant-at-Arms will go and fetch him " 

" Enter Mr. Keir Hardie " . 

" Exit Mr. Keir Hardie "... 

"A Russian Bath in the House of Commons " . 

A Parliamentary Benefactor — Mr. Joseph Cowen 

The O'Donnell Terror 

Making a Pudding .... 

" Born just before Waterloo " — The late Sir John Mowbray 

" A Hasty Bath '' . 

" Lay Low and said Nuiifin " — The late Lord Denman 

" In the Corner " . 

Mr. Tommy Bowles — His Corner Seat 

Mr. Gedge in Possession 

Toujours Gedge .... 

Mr. Hart-Dyke's Bull : " Catching a big Fish on the Top of a 

Tree" . 
" Oh, it was only you, was it ? " 

The only Safe Place (from the Ministerial Point of View) 
A difficult Mount 
Sir Algernon West 
" Irish Obstruction : " 
Fagged 

Automatic Gestures — ! 
Automatic Gestures — ll. Sir John Gorst 
Automatic Gestures — ill. Lord Salisbury 
" Do you know him ? " " No ! Do you ? " 
Talleyrand sleeping in Pitt's Bed 
Presiding at a Lecture 
The Pigtail Party 
History repeating itself 
Black Rod 



Sir William Harcourt 



PAGE 
274 

276 

277 

280 

28r 
282 
284 
285 
286 
288 
289 
291 
294 
297 
299 
301 
302 
303 
304 

306 

307 
312 

315 
318 

319 
321 
322 

323 
326 

330 
333 
336 
339 
341 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Mr. Hanbury takes the Business in Hand 

Pursued by the Treasury 

Mr. J. W. Lowther, the Chairman of Ways and Means 

The Hermit of Blaydon-on-Tyne 

A Shadow of the Past . 

The Conspirators of Europe 

Dies Iras 

" The Admiral's Rum ' 

A Cordite Explosion . 

The Cromwell Statue . 

The Infant Roscius — Mr. W. Redmond 

The Lord Chancellor wielding the Tea-pot 

Charles I. and Henrietta Maria 

A Welsh Orator, Mr. William Jones, M.P. 

Post-Prandial Humour. Lord Ashbourne and Mr. Chauncey 

Depew .... 
Lord Londonderry (the new Postmaster-General) 
"Mabon" .... 
The Speaker riding on the Whirlwind . 
Sir John Gorst : " I want to make your flesh creep 
The Lay of the last V.-P. 
A flashing Eye 

Mr. Lecky struck by a Phenomenon 
The Cult of the Primrose 

Mr. Asquith jumps into the Cabinet 

Sir Charles Russell, afterwards Lord Russell of Killowe 

Mr. Matthews, now Lord Llandaff 

Nell Gwynne .... 

A precious little fat Book 

Fancy Portrait of the Colonel exploding 

Master Arthur writing a Letter to the Queen 

Lord Salisbury and Henry IV. of France 

"The Real Japan" — Mr. Henry Norman 

Lord Robert Cecil as a struggling Journalist 

Sir George Newnes 

On a back Bench — Mr. Chaplin 



xvu 

PAGE 

343 

342 
345 
347 
348 
349 
353 
354 
357 
359 
361 
363 
365 
370 

37Z 
374 
375 
378 
380 
381 
382 

383 
384 
386 
388 
390 
392 
394 
397 
400 
401 

403 
405 
406 
407 



XVIU 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



In the Lions' Den .... 

The Raiders — Messrs. Bowles, Hanbury, and Bartley 

Got no Work to do — Viscount Cross . 

A Family Group .... 

The Brothers Balfour .... 

" To see the King in his Golden Crown" 

The Mace accompanied the Speaker 

An Amendment by Mr. Caldwell 

The Lord Privy Seal .... 

The Order of Precedence 

Cupid as Postboy .... 

A Survival ..... 

" A Shy at a Bishop " . 

" He was snappish to the Archbishop of York " 

Coruscating and Blazing 

The Dismissal of Pam .... 

An eloquent Gesture of Despair 

Lobby-sprinting — What it may come to 

A popular Figure — His Majesty John Bull 

The Imperial Nephew 

The Poet Laureate's Fee 

Mr. Labouchere sitting on the Civil List 

Burrowing Powers— The late Sir Edward Watkin 

The Tunnel Terror .... 

The Bishop's Bill — " Dear me ! London's a dreadfully expensive 

place " . 
Approaching the Dean and Chapter 
Wound up and timed . 
The late Mr. Stansfeld and Mazzini 
The late Lord Henry Lenno.x . 
" Pam " as a Winchester Boy . 
The Irish Secretary and Questions 
Lord Brougham as a Baron of the Cinque Ports 
The bold Barons and the Canopy 
Sir W. Harcourt's Notes 
" Rehearsing " 



PAGE 

411 
412 
414 
416 
416 
418 
420 
421 

423 
425 
427 
429 

431 
432 
434 
437 

439 

441 

444 
446 

448 
450 

452 
453 

456 

458 

459 
460 

461 

463 
466 
469 

470 
473 
475 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Sir George Cornewall Lewis 

Carrying Mr. Flavin out 

Willie Redmond catches sight of Mr. Chamberlaii^ 

Tommy Atkins reverting to Civilian Life 

The real Great Seal . 

Willie Redmond hugs Mr. Kruger 

Mr. Thomas Lough .... 

Major O' Gorman .... 

Mr. Whalley as imagined by Mr. Newdegate . 

Mr. Caldwell at work .... 

Mr. Jeffreys, the new Deputy Speaker . 

Mr. Austen Chamberlain, Financial Secretary to the Treasury 

" Is that Shaw-Lefevre ? " . 

The Earl of Derby .... 

The late Right Hon. W. E. Forster 

Mr. Brodrick reading Lord Kitchener's Despatch 

The Joy of Swift MacNeill 

Just popping in — " I hope I don't intrude'' 

Disapproval ..... 

The Lord Chancellor has a Narrow Escape 

" A belted Earl thumping the Table " . 

"Judas! Judas!" .... 

In the Bull-field .... 

A fancy Portrait .... 

Sir William Harcourt as Lord Keeper in the time of Queen 

Anne ..... 
The Lord Chancellor as George III. 
" Nolo Coronetari " . 
The late Mr. Johnston of Ballykilbeg . 
Mr. Speaker taking the Oath 
Mr. Dillon on the Globe 
Sir B. Stone posing a Subject . 
The Vision of the Woolsack 
The Cordite Conspiracy — Mr. Brodrick applies the Torch 



XIX 

PAGE 

479 

481 
482 
485 
486 
489 
490 

493 
494 
497 
498 

499 
501 

503 

505 

507 
507 

512 

512 

515 
517 
520 
c 2 2 

523 

527 
527 
530 
532 

537 
539 
541 
545 
548 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 

SESSION 1896 

CHAPTER I 

DECEMBER 

One night in the last Session of the Rosebery Parlia- 
ment a breathless messenger brought news to the Serjeant- 
at-Arms that the bells would not ring. It happened that 
an important division, on which the fate of the Government 
depended, was within measurable distance. The House of 
Commons and its precincts are connected by an elaborate 
system of electric bells, commanded from the seat of the 
principal doorkeeper. When a division is called he touches 
a knob and, lo ! in the smoking-room, dining-room, tea- 
room, library, along all the corridors, upstairs and downstairs, 
there throbs the tintinnabulation of the bells. 

This phenomenon is so familiar, and works with such 
unerring regularity, that members absolutely depend upon 
it, absenting themselves from the Chamber with 

- ,, ^ , , , , ... Dumb Bells. 

lull confidence that, as long as they remam m the 
building, they cannot miss a division. The only places in the 
Palace at Westminster frequented by members of the House 
OV'of Commons the electric bells do not command are the bar 
and the galleries of the House of Lords. On the few occa- 
sions when attractive debate is going forward in the other 
Chamber, drawing a contingent of members of the House 

I B 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1896 



of Commons, special arrangements are made for announcing 
a division. A troop of messengers stand in the lobby- 
like hounds in leash. At the signal of a division, they 
set off at the top of their speed, racing down the corridor, 
across the central lobby, into the Lord's lobby, and so, 
breathless, bring the news to Ghent. 

In an instant all is commotion in the space within 
the House of Lords allotted to the Commons. The time 




THE RUSH FROM THE LOBBY. 



between signalling a division and closing the doors of the 
House of Commons against would-be participants is, nomin- 
ally, three minutes. This is jealously marked by a sand- 
glass which stands on the clerks' table. When it empties, 
the doors are locked, the Speaker puts the question for the 
second time, and only those within hearing may vote. Three 
minutes is a somewhat narrow space of time for the double 
event of the race of the messengers to the door of the 
House of Lords and the rally of members at the door of 



1896 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



the House of Commons. The always -waiting crowd of 
strangers in the lobby are on such occasions much astonished 
to find tearing along — some handicapped by years or undue 
weight of flesh, most of them out of training and breath — 
a long string of legislators. 

From any of the ante - chambers of the House of 
Commons the race can be comfortably done under the 
stipulated time. But when 
electric bells fail, the situa- 
tion becomes serious. With 
such majorities as the late 
Government commanded, the 
accident of half-a-dozen or a 
dozen of their supporters 
missing the call might, as it 
finally did, lead to defeat 
and dissolution. Happily, on 
the occasion here recorded, 
notice of the failure had 
been duly conveyed to the 
Serjeant-at-Arms. In order 
to avoid catastrophe, the 
police and messengers were 
specially organised. Each 
man had his appointed beat. 
When the signal was given 
he was to run along it, 
roaring " Division ! Division ! " 
pastime, but it succeeded, and the Ministry were for the time 
saved. 

When workmen arrived on the scene and traced the 
accident to its source, it was discovered that the central 
wire had become disconnected. It was evidently cutting the 
an accident, but it suggests possibilities which wires, 
certainly on one occasion were realised. It happened in the 
earliest days of Irish obstruction. A little band, under the 
captaincy of Mr. Parnell, fought with their backs to the wall 
against the united Saxon host. All-night sittings were 




DIVISION ! 



It was rather an exciting 



4 i.ATia; ri-.i-:rs at tarliamknt ,so6 

iiiiittcrs o\ constant ocoinrcnco. About this time the St. 
Stcplicn's Club was cstabhshcd. ami the Conservative wiiii;- 
cheerlull)- awiilcti themselves ot" the opportiuiit\' oi \'ar)-ing" 
the nionoton\- o[ lonj;' sittiui^s by i;oinL;' across to dine. A 
special door\va\- opened from the Club on to the underi^round 
passage between the Mouses of Parliament and the Metro- 
politan District Rail\va\' Station, a convenience the Committee 
oi' the House of Commons, before whom the Compan\-'s 
ImU came, insisted upon as a condition o\' passing it. The 
(."lub dining-room was connected with the House of Com- 
mons b\' an electric bell, an extension of the system which 
called to divisions members within the precincts of the 
House. A series of experiments demonstrated that the 
division lobby could be reached in good time if the suiumons 
were promptl\- answered. 

On a day towards the close of a tighting Session, the 
Irish members moved an amendment to the passing of 
the Mutiny Bill. They loudly protested their intention 
of sitting all night if necessary to dela\-. if it were not 
possible to defeat it. In view of this prospect, a good 
dinner, leisurely eaten at the St. Stephen's Club, promised 
an agreeable and usetul break in the sitting. Just before 
eight o'clock the Gentlemen of England trooped of!" to 
the Club. They were not likely to be wanted for the 
division till after midnight. If b)- accident a division were 
sprung upon the House, the bell would clang here as it did 
in the Commons' dining-room, and the)- would bolt off to 
save the State. 

Nothing happened. The\- ate their dinner in peace and 
quietness, and, strolling back about halt"-past ten, were met 
at the lobb\- door b\- the desperate \\'hip, who, in language 
permitted only to Whips and the Commander-in-Chief of 
the British Anii\-. reproached them with their desertion. 
They learned to their dismay that soon alter eight o'clock 
the Irish members had permitted the debate to collapse. 
Ministers, grateful for the deliverance and assured of a 
majority, made no attempt to prolong it. The bells clanged 
along the corridors and through all the rooms. The Irish 



i896 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 5 

members mustered in full force. Ministerialists trickled in 
in surprisingly small numbers. It was no business of the 
Liberal Opposition to help the Government on this par- 
ticular issue. They had gone off comfortably to dinner. 
The Ministerial Whips had in hand, dining in the House, 
sufficient to make a quorum. Presently the St. Stephen's 
contingent would come rushing in, and all would be well. 

Mr. Hart-Dyke whipped his men into the lobby. The 
face of Mr. Rowland Winn grew stonier and stonier as he 
stood at the top of the stairway waiting for the hurried 
tramp of the diners-out. But Sister Anne saw no one 
coming, and just managed to get back herself before the 
doors closed. Ministers had a majority, but it was an 
exceedingly small one. 

Investigation revealed the curious fact that the bell wire 
running along the underground passage between the House 
and the St. Stephen's Club had been cut. Of course, it was 
never — at least, hardly ever — known who did it. 

Richard Doyle, familiarly known as " Dicky," was, at 
least, once present at a debate in the House of Commons. 
The occasion was fortunate for posterity, since it ^. ^ ^^ j^ 
chanced upon the night of the maiden speech of in the special 
the second Sir Robert Peel,^ son of the great ^ ^'^^' 
Commoner whose last wish it was that he might " leave a 
name remembered by expression of good-will in those places 
which are the abode of men whose lot it is to labour and to 
earn their daily bread by the sweat of their brow." 

Dicky Doyle, after a fashion still common to his brethren 
and successors on the PuncJi staff, was accustomed to illus- 
trate his private correspondence with pen-and-ink sketches. 
In a letter dated from 17 Cambridge Terrace, Hyde Park, 
March 27, 185 i, Doyle sent to Lady Duff Gordon a sketch 
of the then new member for Tamworth, which, by the courtesy 
of Mr. Fisher Unwin, F.C.G. is reproduced on next page. The 
letter will be found, with much other interesting matter, in 
Mistress Janet Ross's Three Generations of Englishwomen. 

1 Sir Robert Peel died in 1895. 




6 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1896 

" Through the kindness of the Speaker," Doyle writes, 
" I have been permitted every evening almost during the 
' Aggression ' debates to sit in that part of the House of 
Commons devoted to the peers and foreign Ministers. 
Under which of these denominations I passed it is im- 
possible for me to decide, but we will suppose it was a 
diplomatic ' poor' relation from Rome. In this distinguished 
position I heard the speeches of Sir James Graham with 
delight, of Mr. Newdegate with drowsiness, of Mr. Drum- 

mond with shame mingled with indigna- 
tion, of the new Sir Robert Peel with 
surprise and contempt. This (the sketch) 
is what the last-named gentleman is like. 
How like his father, you will instantly 
say. His appearance created in the 
' House ' what Miss Talbot's did in the 
fashionable world, according to Bishop 
Hendren, a * sensation ' ; and when he 
THE LATE SIR j-Qsg ^q spcak, shouts of ' New member ! ' 

ROBERT PEEL (AFTER *■ • i i 

RICHARD DOYLE). rose from every side, and expectation rose 
on tiptoe, while interest was visible in 
every upturned and outstretched countenance, and the 
buzz of eager excitement prevailed in the * first assembly 
of gentlemen in the world.' There he stood, leaning upon 
a walking-stick, which from its bulk you would have fancied 
he carried as a weapon of defence, young and rather hand- 
some, but with a somewhat fierce and, I would say, truculent 
look about the eyes ; hair brown, plentiful, and curly, shirt 
collar turned down, and, O shade of his father ! a large pair 
of moustaches upon his Republican-looking ' mug ' ! ! ! He 
has a manly voice and plenty of confidence, and his speech 
made up by its originality what it wanted in common sense, 
and was full of prejudice, bigotry, and illiberal Radicalism, 
while it lacked largeness of view, and was destitute of 
statesmanship." 

That is to say, the new member differed entirely from 
Doyle on the subject under discussion. Whence these 
remarks which show that, in the matter of political criticism, 



1896 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



Sir Robert 
Peel II. 



things did not greatly differ in the Exhibition Year from the 
manner in which they run to-day. 

Sir Robert Peel was elected member for Tamworth in 
1850, and had not been in the House many months when 
he made his maiden speech. To the end he 
succeeded in retaining that interest of the 
House of Commons which the shrewd, if prejudiced, observer 
in the Distinguished Strangers' 
Gallery noted forty-four years ago. 
There was a time when Sir Robert 
promised to sustain in the political 
and Parliamentary world the high 
reputation with which his name was 
endowed by his illustrious father. 
He was promptly made a Lord of 
the Treasury, and in 1861 Lord 
Palmerston promoted him to the 
post of Chief Secretary for Ireland. 
Sir Robert was always original, and 
he asked to be relieved from this 
post for a reason Mr. Arthur Balfour 
and Mr. John Morley will contem- 
plate with amazed interest. There 
was not enough for him to do, he 
said, and he must needs clear out. 

He sat for Tamworth through 
an uninterrupted space of thirty 
years. The wave of Radical 
enthusiasm that brought Mr. Glad- 
stone into power in 1880 swept away Sir Robert Peel 
and many others, whose Liberalism was not sufficiently 
robust for the crisis. For four years he was out of Parlia- 
ment. But his heart, untravelled, fondly turned to the scene 
with which his family traditions and the prime of his own 
life were closely associated. In 1884 he returned as 
member for Huntingdon, to find fresh lustre added to 
the name of Peel. His brother had, in the previous 
month, been elected Speaker, and the House was already 




THE LATE SIR ROBERT PEEL. 



8 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1896 

beginning to recognise in him supreme ability for the 
post. 

I have to this day a vivid recollection of the play of Sir 
Robert's lips and the twinkle in his eye when Sir Erskine 
May, then still Chief Clerk, brought him up in the usual 
fashion to introduce him to the Speaker. Sir Robert bowed 
with courtly grace, and held out his hand with respectful 
gesture towards his new acquaintance. One mindful for the 
decorum of Parliamentary proceedings could not help being 
thankful when the episode was over. There was something 
in Sir Robert's face, something in his rolling gait as he 
approached the Chair, that would not have made it at all 
astonishing if he had heartily slapped the Speaker on the 
shoulder, or even playfully poked him in the ribs, and 
observed, " Halloa, old fellow ! Who'd have thought of 
finding you here ? Glad to see you 1 " 

That Sir Robert was not to be warned off from the use 
of colloquialisms by seriousness of surroundings was often 
proved during the latter portion of his Parliamentary career. 
On the historic night in the Session of 1878, when the 
House of Commons was thrown into a state of consternation 
by a telegram received from Mr. Layard, announcing that 
the Russians were at the gates of Constantinople, Sir Robert 
Peel airily lectured the House in general, Mr. Gladstone and 
Mr. Bright in particular, for " squabbling about little points." 
A bolder and better remembered flight of humour occurred 
to him when discussing a vote in Committee of Supply on 
account of a so-called work of art just added to the national 
store by the sculptor Boehm. Sir Robert's peculiar pro- 
nunciation of the word, his dramatic sniffing of the nostrils 
as he looked round, and his exclamation, " Boehm ? Boehm ? 
It smells an English name," immensely delighted an 
after-dinner audience. 

The last time I saw Sir Robert Peel was at St. Mar- 
garet's Church, on the occasion of the wedding of his niece, 
the Speaker's daughter, to Mr. Rochfort Maguire. He came 
in late and stayed for a while, looking upon the scene from 
the top of the aisle. His bright face, upright figure, and 



1896 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



general bearing gave no premonition of the fact that three 
weeks later, to the very day, St. Margaret's Church would 
be filled again, partly by the same con- 
gregation, once more the occasion closely 
connected with the Peel family history. 
But now the wedding chimes were 
hushed ; the funeral bells took up the 
story, telling how, at that hour, in the 
parish church where his father had wor- 
shipped and where he himself had 
slumbered through long sermons in 
school-boy days, the second Sir Robert 
Peel was left to his final rest. 

Many years ago, on an Atlantic 

steamer outward bound, I made the 

acquaintance of a notable 

A Rancher. _ , 

man. It was at the time 
when, long before South Africa had 
become Tom Tiddler's ground, cattle 
ranches were a booming market for the 
English speculators. My friend, who 
was, of course, a Colonel, commenced 
life as a cowboy, and gradually acquired flocks and herds 
till he became rich beyond the dreams of avarice. He 
was a man of distinguished appearance, of gentlest manner, 
and, as I soon learned, of most chivalrous nature. But so 
deeply ingrained were his cowboy habits, so recently applied 
the veneer of civilisation, that in the course of conversation 
— and on some subjects his talk had all the freshness and 
charm of a little child — he interpolated a prolonged and 
fearsome oath. 

" Ex-cuse," he said, when these fits came over him, 
bowing his head and speaking in gentlest tones. Then he 
went on talking with his musical drawl till suddenly he 
stumbled into another pitfall of bad language, coming out 
again with bowed head, sweet smile, and his long-drawn, 
plaintive, " Ex-cuse ; kotation." 




MR. ROCHFORT MAGUIRE. 



lo LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1896 

One thing he told me of his first appearance in civilisa- 
tion befell him on his first visit to Chicago. Putting up, as 
became a man of his wealth, at the best hotel in the city, he 
was struck with the magnificence of the dining saloon, with 
its rich, soft, thick carpets, its massive chandeliers, its gilt 
pillars, and its many mirrors. Seeing what he thought was 
another large room leading out of the one in which he 
stood at gaze, the Colonel advanced to explore it — and 
walked right into a mirror, smashing the glass and cutting 
himself He had never in his life seen anything of that 
kind. The delusion was complete, broken only with the 
shivered glass. 

I thought of my friend the Colonel the other night at 
the house of a well-known Amphitryon. It was an evening 
"In a glass P^^ty> ^t which Royalty was present in unusual 
darkly." muster. A brilliant company gathered to meet 
them, many of the women fair, most of the men bravely 
attired in Ministerial, Court, naval, or military uniforms. 
At midnight the room in which a sumptuous supper was 
spread was crowded. At one table stood a well-known 
member of the House of Lords, in animated conversation 
with a group of friends. Bidding them good -night, he 
turned to leave the room, and strode straight up to a mirror 
that covered a wall at one end. 

He halted abruptly as he observed a man walking with 
rapid pace to meet him. He stood and looked him straight 
in the face, the other guest regarding him with equal interest. 
The noble lord, pink of courtesy, slightly bowed and moved 
a step to the right to let the new-comer enter. By an 
odd coincidence (not uncommon in these encounters) the 
stranger took exactly the same direction, and there they 
stood face to face again. With a smile and another bow, 
the peer moved smartly to the left. 

Never shall I forget the look of amazement reflected in 
his face as, staring into the glass, he discovered that the 
stranger had once more made a corresponding movement 
and stood before him. 

" I beg your pardon," he murmured, in faltering tones. 



i896 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT ii 

Whether the sound of his own voice broke the spell, or 
whether he saw the lips of his vis-a-vis moving and recog- 
nised his own face, I do not know. The truth flashed upon 
him, and with rapid step he made for the door in the corner 
at right angles with the mirror and disappeared. 



SESSION 1897 
CHAPTER II 

JANUARY 

Amongst the first work to be done in the new Session 
that opens this month is the reappointment of the Select 
strangers in Committee nominated last year to inquire into 
the House, the circumstances that led up to the raid on the 
Transvaal. It may be useful, for purposes of reference, to 
give a list of the members of the Committee as set forth in 
the columns of the Paris Gil Bias. It runs thus : Sir milord 
Willam Hardtcourte, Sir H. Campell Bamnermard, Sir 
Michael Chicks Black, Sir Richard Webster, Lydney 
Bluxtone, H. Lebouchere Bigham, Sir Hart-Dyki, and M. 
Chamtertain. 

When on Mr. Gladstone's trip to the Kiel Canal the 
Tantallon Castle touched at Copenhagen, a local paper gave 
a list of the principal guests, which included Lord Randoll, 
Lord Welley, Sir Writh Pease, Sir John Leng Baith, and Sir 
Cuthbert Quiets. Under these disguises fellow-passengers 
recognised Lord Rendell, Lord Welby, Sir Joseph Pease, 
Sir John Leng, and (though this was more difficult) Mr. 
Cuthbert Quilter, M.P. 

But for picturesque spelling of proper names Paris beats 
Copenhagen. 

A notable, unvarying, and unexplained phenomenon of the 
House of Commons is the failure of men who enter it after 

12 



i897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 13 

having established high reputation in India. The matter 
is the more marvellous since success in such a sir George 
career implies exceptional ability. Three cases Baifour, k.c.b. 
within recent memory illustrate the rule. Sir George 
Balfour, who represented Kincardineshire in three Parlia- 
ments, had a distinguished executive and administrative 
career in India. Having served in the artillery till he rose 
to the rank of Major-General, he became President of the 
Military Finance Commission of India, and was, for a while, 
chief of the Military Finance Department. 

In his sixty-third year he began a new life in London, 
entering upon Imperial politics with the zest of perennial 
youth. He took to speaking in the House of Commons as a 
duck takes to water. But no House — not the great Liberal 
Parliament elected in 1868, the Conservative host under 
Mr. Disraeli's leadership in the 1874 Parliament, nor the 
Liberals, back again like a flood in 1880 — would listen to 
the poor old General. For years he plodded on, his face 
growing more deeply furrowed, his voice taking on nearer 
resemblance to a coronach. In lapses of the roar of " 'Vide ! 
'Vide ! 'Vide ! " that greeted his rising, the wail of the 
General was heard like the far-off cry of a drowning man in 
a storm at sea. 

In the end he retired from the struggle, and for a Session 
or two sat silent in his familiar seat behind the Front Bench. 
A look of yearning pathos filled his eyes as he watched 
member after member upstanding, and delivering a speech 
to which the House more or less attentively listened, whereas 
him it persistently shouted down. 

The member for Kirkcaldy was of tougher metal than his 
colleague of Kincardineshire. He was, moreover, a far abler 
man. Sir George Campbell was Lieutenant- sir George 
Governor of Bengal during the great famine, campbeii. 
Quitting India whilst the plague had not been entirely 
stayed by his energetic and well-directed efforts, the Times 
threw its hands up in Editorial despair. The question 
what would become of India when Sir George Campbell 
had forsaken it seemed at the time appalling. 



14 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 




THE LATE SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL. 



When he first took his seat for Kirkcaldy, Sir George 
was still in the prime of life as time is counted in the political 
arena. Just turned fifty, he 
might reasonably count on 
fifteen, perhaps twenty, years 
of active life in which on new 
ground he might repeat, even 
excel, his triumphs in India. 
Indian questions he had at 
his finger ends. In the course 
of an active life and wide 
reading he had amassed a 
store of information on a 
wider range. 

Perhaps that was the secret 
of his Parliamentary failure. 
He could talk on any subject at 
any length, and was not indis- 
posed to oblige. A further peculiar disadvantage was possession 
of one of the most rasping voices ever heard on land or sea. In 
the 1886 Parliament the mere sound of Sir George Campbell's 
voice at the opening sentence of a speech was sufficient to send 
the merry-hearted Unionist majority into a roar of laughter. 

The temptation to score off Sir George was great, since 
nothing pleased the House more than success in that 
Fearful direction. One afternoon questions, of which due 
Creatures! notice had been given, were addressed to Mr. 
Plunket,^ then First Commissioner of Works, with respect to 
the carving of strange birds and beasts with which the new 
staircases in Westminster Hall had been ornamented. No 
one was dreaming of Sir George Campbell. It wasn't his 
show, but he must needs poke his nose into it. Mr. Plunket 
had disclaimed authority in the matter. 

" Who, then," cried Sir George, at the top of his voice 
" is responsible for these fearful creatures ? " 

Mr. Plunket returned to the table, and bending a beaming 
face upon Sir George said, in musical voice that contrasted 

1 Now Lord Rathmore. 



i897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



15 



pleasantly with the rasping of a file, " I am not responsible 

for fearful creatures 
in Westminster Hall, 
or in this House 
either." 

In the following 
Session Sir George 
accidentally and un- 
designedly gave a 
fresh point to this 
little gibe by a slip 
of the tongue, Hav- 
ing,in companionship 
with Mr. Storey, Mr. 
Conybeare, and two 
or three other mem- 
bers below the gang- 
way, long withstood 
the Government in 
^'^^ Committee of Supply, 
"WHAT A FEARFUL CREATURE ! " Sir George, m one 

of twenty - three 
speeches delivered on a single night, desired to make 
reference to " the band of us devoted guerillas." In the 
tornado of his hurried speech he got a little mixed, and 
presented himself and his coadjutors to the notice of a 
delighted House as " the band of us devoted gorillas." 

One of Sir George's minor fads was objection to the 
device of St. George and the Dragon employed for coins 
which passed currency in Scotland. St. George sir George and 
was all very well for mere Southerners. North the Dragon, 
of the Tweed, St. Andrew was the saint. In Committee of 
Supply he returned to this subject, dwelling upon it as if he 
approached it for the first time. The Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, who had replied a score of times to the question, 
made no sign, and the Chairman of Committees had risen to 
put the question. Sir George bore down upon him with 
yngovernable fury, threatening to move to report progress if 




1 6 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

he were thus ignored. Mr. W. H. Smith, still with us at the 
time, interposed with characteristic effort to throw oil on the 
troubled waters. Sir George, in response, clamoured for a 
pledge that in any new coinage the familiar device should 
not be introduced. Hereupon, Sir Wilfrid Lawson, ever a 
man of peace, suggested, as a compromise, that the die 
should be cut to represent Sir George and the Dragon. 

Amid the uproarious laughter that followed, the vote 
under discussion was hastily put and further discussion by 
Sir George Campbell necessarily deferred. 

Still another eminent Indian statesman who found a 
low level in the House of Commons was Sir Richard Temple. 
Sir Richard Sir Richard has recently published the Story of 
Temple. his Life, from which it appears how intimately 
and directly he was connected with the growth and prosperity 
of India over a period of twenty-nine years. He was nine 
years older than Sir George Campbell when he entered the 
Parliamentary arena. In mental and physical vigour he was 
at least his equal. Sir Richard's career in India had been 
one of unchecked advancement — the reward of honest hard 
work and high administrative capacity. As he himself 
modestly puts it, he " was fortunate in climbing rapidly up 
the steps of the ladder in a comparatively short time, and 
remaining at or near the top for the greater part of my official 
days." 

He came to Westminster just as Napoleon went to 
Spain after his triumphs in Italy and Germany, meaning to 
possess himself of a new territory as a matter of course. 
Excluding Irish members from the computation. Sir Richard 
in one respect beat the record. " In the Commons," he writes, 
on the day before he took the oath, " I wish to comport 
myself modestly and quietly." He began by making his 
maiden speech on the first night of the opening Session of a 
new Parliament ! 

Thereafter Sir Richard was one of the most active com- 
petitors in the game of catching the Speaker's eye. He had 
an advantage inasmuch as he was always on the spot. It 
was his boast that, out of the 2 1 1 8 divisions taken in the 



iS97 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



17 



Parliament of 1886-92, he voted in 2072. In respect of 
the mastery of other questions besides those specially pertain- 
ing to India, Sir Richard had excep- 
tional claims to the attention of the 
House of Commons. But he never 
succeeded in catching its ear, and 
after a struggle not less gallant and 
prolonged than that of Sir George 
Balfour or Sir George Campbell, he 
shook the dust of the House from off 
his feet. 

Macaulay, another eminent im- 
migrant from India, after brief ex- 

The perience, described the 
reason why. House of Commons as 
the most peculiar audience in the 
world. " I should say," he wrote to 
Whewell sixty-six years ago, " that a 
man's being a good writer, a good 
orator at the Bar, a good mob orator, 
or a good orator in debating clubs, 
was rather a reason for expecting him 
to fail than for expecting him to 

succeed in the House of Commons. A place where Walpole 
succeeded and Addison failed ; where Dundas succeeded 
and Burke failed ; where Peel now succeeds and where 
Mackintosh fails ; where Erskine and Scarlett were dinner- 
bells ; where Lawrence and Jekyll, the two wittiest men, 
or nearly so, of their time, were thought bores, is surely a 
very strange place." 

In the case of men who have made their mark in India 
there is not even this attraction of variety. They all prove 
dinner-bells. One reason for this is that they enter the 
House too late in life. There are exceedingly few exceptions 
to the rule that men do not reach supreme position in the 
House of Commons unless they enter it on the sunny side of 
thirty. 

More directly fatal to House of Commons success of 

C 




SIR RICHARD TEMPLE TURNS 
HIS BACK ON THE HOUSE. 



1 8 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT ,897 

Indian ex-Ministers and officials is the absolutely altered 
conditions of life. Stepping from Government House in 
one of the Provinces of India on to the floor of the House 
of Commons, they experience a more striking and not so 
attractive a transformation as Alice realised when she 
wandered into Wonderland. For years accustomed to auto- 
cratic power, his lightest whisper a command, the ex-Satrap 
finds himself an unconsidered member of a body of men 
who, unless their demeanour is misleading, would think 
nothing of tweaking the nose of the ex-Governor of Bombay 
or digging in the ribs the ex-Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal. 
The lesson is learnt in time. To begin with, it is diffi- 
cult for a man who, as Sir Richard Temple boasts in his 
own case, has ruled over millions, to realise that he must 
compete with borough members and the like in the effort to 
catch the Speaker's eye. His earliest natural impulse is to 
clap his hands and order the optic to be brought to him 
on a charger. By the time the hard lesson is learned 
spirit is broken, ambition is smothered, old age creeps on, 
and strong, capable, successful men, who have thrown up 
high appointments in India in order to serve their country 
and themselves in a Parliamentary career, find how much 
sharper than a serpent's tooth is House of Commons' 
ingratitude. 

The gentlemen of England who live at home at ease, 
and, morning after morning, through an important debate 
Unnamed ^" ^^^ House of Commons, glance down the 
Heroes. report of spccches delivered on the previous 
night, reck little of tearless dumb tragedies that take place 
in the historic Chamber and find no record. It is all very 
well for the man who has worked off his speech, even if, 
the benches should empty at his rising, and the newspapers 
give the barest summary of his argument. 

Alas for those who never sing, 

But die with all their music in them. 

Through nights of big debates, for one member who 



1 897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



19 



catches the Speaker's eye there are, at least, twenty who 
compete in the emprise and 
lamentably fail. It is no 
uncommon thing to see a 
member sit hour after hour, 
notes of his speech in hand, 
waiting till successive orators 
have made an end of speak- 
ing, eagerly jump up, and be 
passed over by the Speaker. 
The House, long inured to y^^ 
misfortune in others, passes ^^ 
it over without sign of 
emotion. But it is no light 
thing for the man directly 
concerned. 

To begin with, he has 
presumably spent much time 




WAITING FOR AN OPENING. 



in studying the sub- 
ject of debate and 
in laborious pre- 
paration of aspeech. 
He must be down 
early to secure a 
seat. Whilst others 
go off to chat in 
the lobby, to smoke 
on the terrace, to 
read the papers, or 
leisurely to dine, he 
must remain at his 
post, ready to jump 
up whenever an 
opening is made. 
To take one turn 
at this and be dis- 
appointed is hard. 
To do it all through a night seems unendurable. To repeat 




TRYING TO CATCH THE SPEAKER'S EYE. 



20 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



the experience night after night, and hear the division called 

with the speech yet unspoken, is sufficient to blight existence. 

Yet such a fate is by no means uncommon. In some 

cases a last pang is added by the consciousness that the 

wife of one's bosom, or the 
dutiful daughters who believe 
Pa's oratory would remove 
mountains of objection, re- 
gard the shameful scene from 
the seclusion of the Ladies' 
Gallery. 

Disgust and disappoint- 
ment, born of this evil fate, 

/ occasionally find ^he Front 
expression in pro- Benches. 

test against the number and 
length of speeches delivered 
from either Front Bench. It 
will be understood in what 
mood a member, smarting 
under constant repulse, sees 
another chance snatched from 
him by the interposition of a 
minor Minister or, worse still, by an ex-Under Secretary 
rising from the Front Opposition Bench, reeling off his 
speech as a matter of course and right. In big debates, 
where the pressure of oratory is overpowering and time 
limited, the Whips on either side make up a list in due 
order of precedence, which they hand to the Speaker. This 
he is glad enough to avail himself of, whilst not abrogating 
his right to make such selection as he pleases. 

Members of the present House of Commons have never 
heard the old Parliamentary roar of passionate wrath. 
"•Vide! Sometimes when an unwelcome member to-day 
•Vide! -Vide I" intcrposcs in debate, or another, having been on 
his legs for an hour, proposes to introduce his seventhly, 
there is a timid cry of " 'Vide ! 'Vide ! 'Vide ! " The change 




MISSED ! 



1897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



21 



in Parliamentary habit and modes of thought is shown by 
the fact that the interruption is instantly met by a stern cry 
of " Order ! Order ! " in which, if the interruption be per- 
sisted in, the Speaker is sure to join. Not that the audience 
desire to have more of the eloquence from which they have 
suffered. But it is not, in these days, the fashion to shout 
down an obnoxious member. 

Mr. Courtney remembers when things were quite other- 
wise. There was a Wednesday afternoon in June, in the 
Session of 1877, when the Woman's Suffrage jaiked out 
Bill made one of its successive appearances, h'^ own bhi. 
The advocates of the measure — foremost among whom was 
Mr. Courtney — were flushed with hope of a good division. 
At a quarter past five, the champion rose to clench the 
argument in favour of the second reading. Under the 
standing orders then in force, Wednesday's debate must 
needs close at a quarter to six. If any member was on his 
feet when the hand of the clock 
touched the quarter, the debate would 
automatically stand adjourned. The 
House had had enough of debate 
carried on through a long summer after- 
noon. Members knew Mr. Courtney's 
views on the question, and would 
rather have the division than enjoy 
opportunity of hearing them formally 
restated. Accordingly, when he rose 
there were cries for the division. 

But Mr. Courtney, though then 
comparatively new to Parliamentary 
life, was not to be put down by 
clamour. Disregarding the interrup- 
tion, he went on with his remarks. 
As he continued the storm rose. Mr. 
Courtney's back was up, and occasion- 
ally so also was his clenched fist, 
shaken towards high Heaven in enforcement of his argument. 
At the end of a quarter of an hour a glass of water was 




MR. COURTNEY'S BACK UP. 



22 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

brought by a considerate friend. Amid howls of contumely 
the orator gulped it down. Evidently refreshed, he began 
again. Nothing was heard beyond the invocation, " Mr. 
Speaker," and the chorus, "'Vide! 'Vide! 'Vide!'" The 
roar of human voices filled the Chamber with angry wail. 
When it seemed dying away Mr. Courtney's lips moved, 
whereat the blast broke forth with renewed fury. Another 
glass of water was brought, and drunk amid demoniac shouts. 
So the moments sped till a quarter to six rang out from 
the Clock Tower, and Mr. Courtney sat down pale and 
breathless, secure in the rare triumph of having talked out 
the Bill whose passage through a second reading he had 
risen with intent to enforce. That is a scene the like of 
which members of the House of Commons living under the 
New Rules will never more look upon. 

A well-known member of the House of Commons has 
brought up from the country a story which illustrates the 
A Night responsibilities of hospitality. His house stand- 
Alarm, ing in an isolated position, with the highway 
skirting the park walls, he became concerned for the safety 
of many precious portable things collected under his roof 
Taking advice in an experienced quarter, he was advised 
that the best thing to do was to have all the doors and 
windows on the ground -floor connected with electric bells. 
Any attempt to effect burglarious entry would result, not 
only in the ringing of the bell in the particular room upon 
which attempt was made, but in every room and every 
passage on the ground-floor. 

Shortly after midnight on what had been a peaceful 
Sabbath, the household were alarmed by a furious ringing 
of bells. The householder was up with delighted alacrity. 
Now he would have them ! On the way downstairs he met 
several men of the house party, for the most part scantily 
dressed, but full of ardour for any possible fray. 

As the bells were still ringing in all the rooms, it was 
difficult to hit upon the one assailed. The host was assisted 
by the appearance at one of the doors of an esteemed friend 



1897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 23 

with painfully scared look. Explanations following, it ap- 
peared that the guest, fancying the room was warm, and 
being accustomed to sleep at home with his window open, 
unfastened the latch and threw up the window, with the 
astounding results recorded. 

In future, guests sleeping on the ground -floor will be 
warned of what they may expect as the result of too insistent 
search of fresh night air. 



CHAPTER III 

FEBRUARY 

It is probable that amongst other results the new procedure 
governing Committee of Supply will settle the vexed question 
work-time at ^^ ^^e time of the year through which Parlia- 
Westtninster. ment should sit. It has long been regarded as 
an unpardonable and unnecessary anomaly that Parliament 
should be condemned to hard labour in London through 
the fairest months of the year. Since the birth of organised 
obstruction in the Parliament of 1874, it has come to pass 
that members of the House of Commons have been practi- 
cally debarred from enjoying the delights of the country in 
its prime. The custom has been to meet the first week 
in February, adjourning somewhere between the third week 
in August and the last week in September. 

This arrangement of Parliamentary times and seasons is 
not consecrated by the dust of ages. It does not go even 
as far back as the Georgian Era. When George III. was 
King, Parliament met in November, sat till May or June, 
and thus earned a recess endowed with the warmth and 
light of summer time. As we are reminded by recurrence 
of the anniversary of Gunpowder Plot, the custom of Parlia- 
ment meeting for a new Session early in November dates back 
beyond Stuart times. Seven years ago, Sir George Trevelyan 
made an attempt to induce the House to return to old 
Conservative customs. He moved a resolution recommend- 
ing that the Session should open in November, that the 

24 



t897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 25 

House should adjourn for brief recess at Christmas, and not 
sit far into June. The proposal was negatived by a bare 
majority of four in a House of over 350 members. 

Mr. W. H. Smith, then leading the Commons, was so 
impressed by this declaration of opinion, that it was resolved 
to try the experiment. Accordingly, in 1890, the Session 
commenced on the 25th of November. Parliament sat till 
the 9th of December, and adjourned till the 22nd of January. 
It was a rather long Christmas holiday, and it had to be 
paid for later on, the prorogation not being brought about 
till the 5 th of August. 

This was an arrangement fatal to a movement that 
had commenced with sprightly hope. When members were 
brought to town in November, they were promised that 
school should break up on or about Midsummer Day. 
What actually happened was that the prorogation took 
place about the date which was, prior to 1874, regarded as 
customary, the difference being that members had been in 
harness since November instead of meeting in February. 

Since that lamentable fiasco, there has been no further 
talk of winter sessions and summer holidays. Mr. Balfour's 
scheme of appointing a limited number of nights jyi^^ Balfour's 
for Committee of Supply, backed up at the end p'»"- 
by the Closure, will certainly — assuming good faith on the 
part of the Ministry — prevent the indefinite dragging out of 
the Session through August into September.^ In spite of 
all temptation, turning a deaf ear to the entreaty of powerful 
interests, Mr. Balfour last year kept faith with the House of 
Commons. The prorogation took place about the middle 
of August, as he had promised when, early in the Session, 
he appropriated the time of private members for Committee 
of Supply. As long as honourable understanding in this 
direction is observed, so long will the new procedure in the 
matter of Committee of Supply be adhered to. It admirably 
serves the larger purpose for which it was designed, discus- 
sion of the Estimates being made possible last year with a 

1 This anticipation has been fully justified. Parliament is now invariably 
prorogued in the second week in August. 



26 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



fulness of time and convenience of opportunity long unknown 
at Westminster. 



The General Election of 1895 added to the historic 
store of the House of Commons one fresh opportunity of 
^ J testing the problem whether there is insuperable 
Letters in obstacle to the Parliamentary success of a man 
Parliament. ^-^^ ^^^ made his earliest fame in literature. It 
was a fortunate accident, full of good augury, that Mr. 
Lecky's much-looked for maiden speech was delivered with- 
out preparation. He chanced to be in 
the House when, on the Address, debate 
arose on the question of extending 
amnesty to the Fenian prisoners. He 
was moved by some remarks from Mr. 
Horace Plunkett, one of those simple, 
businesslike addresses with which the 
member for Dublin County occasionally 
varies the ordinary business of speech- 
making in the House of Commons. 
Mr. Lecky, finding himself on his feet 
for the first time, going through the 
dread ordeal of speaking in the House 
of Commons, was manifestly nervous. 
He wrung his hands with despairing 
gesture ; his knees, trembling, lent the 
appearance of a series of deprecatory 
curtsies towards the Chair. Soon he 
recovered his self-possession, and pro- 
ceeded to the end of a wisely brief 
speech delivered in a pleasant voice with 
He doubtless did much better than if, 
foreseeing the opportunity, he had in the retirement and 
leisure of his study prepared a more elaborate oration. 

Another man of letters, not brought in with the present 
Parliament, though in it he has made his first distinct bid 
for position as a debater, is Mr. Augustine Birrell. The 
member for West Fife undoubtedly prepares the good things 




MR. LECKIES MAIDEN 
EFFORT. 

clear enunciation. 



1 897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



27 



he distributes through his Parliamentary speeches 
••Obiter point, and the happily 
Dicta." natural manner of their 
delivery, invest them with the charm 
of the impromptu. The very best style 
of Parliamentary speaking is that illus- 
trated by the successes of Lord Salis- 
bury and Lord Rosebery, where the gift 
of public speaking is founded upon 
literary taste and literary training. 
Mr. Birrell has the combination of 
these good things. When, as in his 
case, there is added a strong savour 
of sprightly, occasionally audacious, 
humour, success is assured far beyond 
the measure that awaits the weightier 
and more distinguished historian of 
England in the Eighteenth Century. 



But their 




MR. AUGUSTINE BIRRELL S 
" OBITER DICTA." 



One of the most elaborate and, by the public, least used 
underground avenues in the Metropolis connects Palace 
Yard with the Embankment. It is probable subterranean 
that of the hundreds of thousands of persons influences, 
who cross Westminster Bridge in the course of twenty-four 
hours, not a dozen are aware of the existence of this subter- 
ranean thoroughfare. As a matter of fact, it is reserved 
exclusively for members and others proceeding to and from 
the House of Commons. It is open only whilst the House 
is sitting, the approach from the Embankment and the exit 
at the foot of the District Railway steps being locked as 
soon as the House is up. 

The passage has a remarkable history, inasmuch as it is 
the result of the only occasion when a bribe was effectively 
offered to a Select Committee of the House of Commons. 
When the promoters of the Metropolitan District Railway 
came before Parliament for powers to construct the line, 
they were careful to point out that one of their stations 
would be conveniently set immediately opposite the Clock- 



28 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

tower Entrance to the Houses of Parliament. Also, there 
would be late trains going westward, which in ordinary 
circumstances would meet the convenience of members at 
the close of debate. Finally, the promoters undertook to 
connect Palace Yard and their railway station by a private 
subterraneous way. 

That, of course, may have had no influence upon the 
decision of the Committee. As a matter of history the 
Bill passed. 

There is just now on foot a movement, in which Mr. 
Loder takes the lead, for extending this privilege of subter- 
raneous locomotion. Thanks to the activity and 

Where ^ 

Edmund persistence of Mr. Herbert Gladstone, and the 
penser ive . ^,qj.(Jj^j Concurrence of Mr. Akers- Douglas on 
succeeding him at the Board of Works, the long-contemplated 
improvement of the Parliament Street approach to West- 
minster Hall and Westminster Abbey will shortly be com- 
menced. The unsightly block of houses which makes a 
sort of club-foot at the end of Parliament Street will be 
swept away, full view being opened of Westminster Abbey. 

The narrow thoroughfare. King Street, at the back of 
this block was one time the principal approach to West- 
minster. There is record of the crushing and trampling to 
death of a number of people crowding it when Queen 
Elizabeth, at the head of a cavalcade of her nobles, rode to 
Westminster to open Parliament in person. To-day the 
broadened thoroughfare of Parliament Street is not wide 
enough to hold the throng that gathers on the rare occasions 
when the Sovereign opens Parliament. 

Soon it will be further widened by addition of the back 
street in which Edmund Spenser died for lack of bread. It 
was in a room of a house in King Street that the author of 
Faerie Queeue received the tardy charity of twenty pieces of 
silver sent him by Lord Essex. He returned it with bitterly 
courteous expression of regret that he had " no time to spend 
them." 

Mr. Loder discovers in the contemplated improvement 
of Parliament Street an opportunity of adding to the com- 



i897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 29 

fort and convenience of Ministers and officials. He suggests 
that from somewhere in the neighbourhood of ^ j.^^^ 
Downing Street a subway may start, landing in Proposal. 
Palace Yard. As the money in this instance would be 
forthcoming not from the purse of a railway company, but 
from the coffers of the State, it is not probable the scheme 
will meet with the warm approval bestowed upon the passage 
under Bridge Street. Moreover, objection may reasonably 
be taken on behalf of the Man in the Street. Durinsf Mr. 
Gladstone's Premiership it was the daily delight of a crowd 
lining Downing Street, and of another clustered opposite the 
gates of Palace Yard, to await the coming of the veteran 
statesman. Had he, enticed by the privacy and shelter of 
the subway, gone underground, much innocent pleasure and 
excitement would have been lost. Nor would the public 
to-day willingly let die the opportunity of seeing Mr. Arthur 
Balfour, with long, swinging stride, and a pleasant smile on 
his still boyish face, pass daily through the Session on his 
way to the House of Commons. 

In the published letters of the late Archbishop Magee 
there are several indications, scratched by a ruthlessly 
sharp pen, of the heartburning that underlies the 

. . Parvenu 

ordinary placid appearance of the House of Lords, Peers in 
I am thoroughly sick of episcopal life in Parlia- ^"^ 'ament. 
ment," moans Dr. Magee, after he had sat in it for ten years as 
Bishop of Peterborough. " We are hated by the Peers as a 
set o{ parvenus whom they would gladly rid themselves of if 
they dare, and only allowed on sufferance to speak now and 
then on Church questions after a timid and respectful sort." 

Dr. Magee addressing any body of his fellow-creatures 
in timid and respectful attitude does not immediately jump 
with conclusions formed in reminiscence of his ordinary 
manner. The suggestion shows how deeply he was moved. 

Differences in custom of debate tend to make oebatein Lords 
things harder for an undesirable speaker in the and commons. 
House of Lords than for one similarly esteemed in the House 
of Commons. 



so 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 




LOKD MORRIS. 



On big field-nights, such as the second reading of the 
Home Rule Bill or the Irish Land Bill, the list of speakers 

on one side, and the order of their 
appearance, is drawn up by Lord 
Salisbury, a similar list being pre- 
pared by the Leader of the party 
opposite. These lists serve as 
stone walls against the desire of 
any Lord of Parliament who may 
desire to enjoy his birthright by 
addressing his peers. 

In the debate on the second 
reading of the Irish Land Bill, 

/"^ passed by Lord Salis- An undelivered 

bury's Government, an speech. 

Irish Law Lord ^ who knows the 
question thoroughly, and whose racy speech is much relished 
by the House and the public, regarded it as a matter of 
course that he would be 
expected to take part in 
the debate. He was, 
accordingly, at some pains 
to prepare a speech pre- 
sumably full of good 
things. Inquiring where 
he was to come in, he was 
quietly told that he would 
not be wanted. 

" So," he says, with a 
twinkle in his eye and a 
richer note in his brogue, 
" I'm saving this speech 
up for the next Irish Land 
Bill a Conservative Govern- 
ment will bring in." 




THE LATE LORD "COLERIDGE. 



It seems natural 
enough that a clergyman, albeit an archbishop, projected 

1 The late Lord Morris. 



1897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



31 



into the political arena, should be possessed with that feeling 
of chilliness in the atmosphere of the House of ^ cheerful 
Lords which Dr. Magee indicates in the passage simiie. 
quoted. It affects even lawyers. A short time before his 
death the first Lord Coleridge, talking to me about the 
House of Lords, said : " I have had my seat there now 
for more than a dozen years. But when at this day I rise 
to speak I have something of the feeling that chilled me 
at my first essay. Making a set speech in the House of 
Lords is like getting up in a churchyard and addressing the 
tombstones." 



The prospect of Lord Charles Beresford returning to 
the House of Commons, a happy event not likely to be 
A Colloquy at ^^^S deferred, flutters the Admiralty with pleased 
the Admiralty, anticipation. As seen 
from Whitehall, it is doubtful 
whether Lord Charles, being in 
Parliament, is better in office or 
out of it. Out of it he is always 
cruising round, continually 
threatening to run down the First 
Lords' frigate with his saucy 
gunboat. In office he is not any 
more tractable. 

He tells a charming story of 
what happened to him " when I 
was at the Admiralty." 

" One morning," Lord Charles 
says, " a clerk came in with a 
wet quill pen, and said : ' Good- 
morning. Will you sign the 
Estimates of the year ? ' I said : 
'What!' He said: 'Will you 
sign the Estimates for the year ? ' 
I said : ' My good man, I have 

not seen them.' ' Oh, well,' he said, shoving a little astern, 
' the other Lords have signed them. It will be very 




' I sha'n't sign the estimates." 



32 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

inconvenient if you don't.' ' I'm very sorry,' I said. 
' I'm afraid I'm altogether inconvenient in this place. 
Certainly I sha'n't sign Estimates I've not seen.' ' I must 
go and tell the First Lord,' said the horrified clerk. I 
assured him I didn't care a fig whom he told. Being at 
the time the Coal Lord, I knew the coal was not half enough 
to supply the fleet as it stood, and the fleet wasn't near 
enough the strength it ought to be. So I flatly refused to 
sign, and the Estimates were brought into the House 
without my signature. The omission was noted and an 
explanation demanded. ' Really,' said the First Lord, ' it 
does not matter whether the Junior Lord signs the Estimates 
or does not.' " 

Mr. Sydney Gedge has thought out a means of saving 
public time in the House of Commons, which he will, in the 
Mr. Qedge course of the coming Session, invite the House 
has a Plan, ^o cmbody in a Standing Order. It is aimed 
against the practice of a few recalcitrant members insisting 
upon dividing when their chances of prevailing in the lobby 
are ludicrously hopeless. 

This is an opportunity not lost upon obstructionists, who 
when they tire of talking have only to challenge a division, 
which secures for them a little wholesome exercise, combined 
with a waste of ten minutes of public time. 

Mr. Gedge proposes that the Speaker, or if the House 
is in Committee, the Chairman, may, after putting the 
question a second time and finding his opinion challenged, 
call for a show of hands. He may thereupon declare 
whether the " ayes " or " noes " have it, his decision to be 
final. In order to gratify the desire of members to see 
their names in the division list, Mr. Gedge further proposes 
that members may write their names, with the word " aye " 
or " no," on a card provided for the purpose, and deposit it in 
a box, the votes so signified to be printed in the division list. 

There is already in existence a Standing Order designed 
to effect the purpose Mr. Gedge has at heart. In accord- 
ance with it, the Speaker, or Chairman of Committees, 



1897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 33 

regarding a division as frivolously claimed, may direct those 

clamouring for it to stand up in their places. 

The Committee clerks are summoned ; the 

names of members on their feet are ticked off, and are 

printed with the votes on the following day. 

Once last Session Mr. Weir succeeded in provoking the 
Chairman of Committees to put in force the Standing Order. 
In Committee of Supply he, lamenting the slack attendance 
of Her Majesty's ships in the neighbourhood of the Hebrides, 
moved to reduce Mr. Goschen's salary by the sum of .1^1500. 
The Chairman, putting the question, declared the " noes " 
had it. Mr. Weir insisted on the contrary, and claimed a 
division. Thereupon, the Chairman directed the " ayes " to 
stand up. Nine members, including Mr. Caldwell and Dr. 
Tanner, supported Mr. Weir. 

It was a significant circumstance that on the next vote 
Dr. Tanner made a motion at least as frivolous. But the 
Chairman did not again have recourse to the Standing 
Order. In the division that followed the minority was 
eight. Whence it would appear that the challenge for a 
division was one-ninth more frivolous than the one upon 
which the Chairman had taken action. 

The most delightful incident in the evolution of new 
members of the present Parliament stands to the credit of a 
member who sits above the gangway on the Hair-curied 
Opposition benches. Very early after taking oratory. 
the oath he resolved to make his maiden speech. Impressed 
with the respect due to the Mother of Parliaments, he con- 
sidered what he should do in order properly to render it. 
Discussing with himself various suggestions, he finally 
resolved that before he rose to catch the Speaker's eye he 
would have his hair curled. 

One afternoon, to the astonishment of members in his 
immediate neighbourhood, he came down oiled and curled 
like an Assyrian bull. Unfortunately, the delicate attention 
he had paid to the House was not reciprocated by the 
Speaker. Up to dinner time, whenever a member taking 

D 



34 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



part in the debate resumed his seat, a curled head was seen 
flashing up above the gangway, and a voice issuing from 
below the fringe said, " Mr. Speaker ! " But the owner was 
persistently ignored. 

Wearied by reiterated effort and continual disappoint- 
ment, he went out about the dinner hour to get some 
refreshment. He was back early in fresh quest of oppor- 
tunity. But, even in the more favourable circumstances ot 
lessened attendance and reduced competition, he did not 
get his chance. New members have a prescriptive right to 
precedence over all but the giants of debate. On this 
occasion new members seemed, with one accord, to have 
agreed to seize the opportunity. 

It was eleven o'clock before the member above the 
gangway was called upon, by which time, partly owing to 
the heat of the atmosphere, partly to extreme mental per- 
turbation, his hair was almost entirely out of curl. But the 

attention was well meant, 
and was much appreciated 
by members who in the 
course of the evening 
possessed themselves of 
the secret. 

It was another new 
member, fresh from Ire- 
land, who, in 
the heat of 
oratory, flashed forth a 
new and delightfully ex- 
pressive word. Mr. Gerald 
Balfour declined to assent 
to one of the many pro- 
posals formulated by rival 
factions below the gang- 
way opposite. 
" Sir," said Mr. Murnaghan, fixing the Minister with 
flaming eye, " I can tell the Chief Secretary that his m^essage 
will be received in Ireland with constirpation" 




A New Word. 



"GERALD." 



1 897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



35 



I have happed upon a rare pamphlet whose well-thumbed 
condition testifies to the interest it has excited. A Short 
History of Prime Ministers in Great Britain is ^ pearfui 
its title, the imprint showing that it was " done warning, 
by H. Haines, at Mr. Francklin's, in Russell Street, Covent 
Garden, 173 3-" 

The history, much condensed, is designed to show how 
fatal for a nation's welfare is the delegation of kingly rule 
to the hands of a single man. The anonymous writer goes 
as far back as the time of William the Conqueror with his 
favourite Minister, Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, and passing 
through succeeding reigns, shows how A'Beckett, Hubert de 
Burgh, Mortimer, Somerset, Buckingham, and others placed 
in supreme power by the personal affection of the Sovereign, 
brought their country to the verge of ruin. 

The gem of the work is reserved for the end, where the 
author, summarising the history of Prime Ministers, shows 
how fearsome was their fate. Here is his list made out in 
the fashion of a butcher's weekly account for meat : — 



DY'D by the Halter . 






3 


Ditto by the Axe 






10 


Ditto by Sturdy Beggars . 






• 3 


Ditto untimely by private Hands 






2 


Ditto in Imprisonment 






4 


Ditto in Exile 






4 


Ditto Penitent . 






I 


Saved by Sacrificing their Master 






4 



Sum Total of Prime Ministers 



31 



Like Captain Bunsby's remarks, the bearing of the 
pamphleteer's observations lies in the application thereof. 
Only one reference is made to current politics. " It would 
scarce have been safe," he writes, " I am sure it would not 
have been prudent, thus to entertain the Publick with the 
dismal Consequences, that have hitherto followed, upon 
vesting all Power in One Man. But at a Time like This, 
when it is the joy of all good Men to see that there is no 
one Prime Minister at the Helm ; but that several equally 



36 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

able, equally virtuous, and great Men jointly draw on the 
well-hallanced Machine of State, which therefore cannot, as I 
pray it may not, totter." 

The wicked slyness of the pamphleteer is realised when 
we recall the fact that at the time he launched his artfully 
prepared dart, Sir Robert Walpole was first Lord of the 
Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer, had held the 
position for twelve years, and seemed likely, as indeed the 
event proved, to retain it for nine years longer. 



CHAPTER IV 



MARCH 



In this, its third Session, it becomes more than ever clear 
that the Fourteenth Parliament of Oueen Victoria will not 
vary the level of respectable commonplace Faded 
prevalent in the House of Commons in recent stars, 
times. As far as individuality is concerned, the Parliament of 
1874-80 marks the high tide. That was the assembly that 
provided a platform on which were played the high jinks of 
Major O'Gorman, Mr. Biggar, Mr. Frank Hugh O'Donnell, 
Dr. Kenealy, Sir John Astley, Mr. Tom Connelly, Mr. David 
Davies, Mr. Delahunty, with his one-pound notes ; Mr. 
M'Carthy Downing, Mr. Plimsoll, and his famous achieve- 
ment of standing on one leg and shaking his fist at the 
Speaker ; Sir John Elphinstone, Mr. David M'lver, honest 
John Martin, the Chevalier O'Clery, J. P. Ronayne, one of 
the wittiest of Irishmen ; Dr. O'Leary, Captain Stackpoole, 
Mr. Smollett, great-grand-nephew of the novelist and historian, 
who effectively reproduced in the House the manners of 
Humphrey Clinker ; Mr. Whalley, with his grave suspicion 
of Mr. Newdegate, whom he once accused of being a Jesuit in 
disguise ; Mr. Newdegate, with his funereal voice, his solemn 
manner, and his pocket-handkerchief of the hue of the 
Scarlet Lady whose existence disturbed his hours sleeping 
or waking — all these lived in the Parliament of 1874-80. 
All, all are gone, and there is none to take their place. 

I see I have omitted the Admiral from the list, which 

37 



38 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

proves its abundant fulness. Yet, perhaps, of all the charac- 
jhe ters in that memorable Parliament, the Admiral 
Admiral, ^yas the most subtly humoristic. His proper style 
was Sir William Edmonstone, Bart., C.B., member for 
Stirlingshire. In the House he was never known by any 
other name than " the Admiral." Through the long Sessions 
of the '74 Parliament there was no more constant attendant 
than he, seated midway on the bench immediately 
behind Her Majesty's Ministers. Strangers in the gallery, 
attracted by certain growlings suggestive of limited allowance 
of rum in the forecastle, grew familiar with the spare figure, 
surmounted by a small head, from which the hand of Time 
had gently but firmly plucked the greater part of the hair. 
They knew and liked the thin, resolute face, w^th frail 
vestiges of whiskers, the mouth marked with lines telling of 
threescore years and ten. 

In February 1874 the Admiral came in with a crowd 
of new members, absolutely an unknown man. Circum- 
stances had not been favourable to the development of that 
political acumen later developed in remarkable degree. 
Afloat or ashore, he had served his Queen and his country 
full fifty years. It was not by any fault of his that the only 
time he smelt gunpowder fiercely fired was when, as a lad of 
sixteen, a midshipman on the Sylnlle, he came across some 
pirates in the Archipelago. Since then he was present 
at many desperate actions, chiefly taking place in the House 
of Commons. He saw right honourable pirates on the 
Front Bench opposite again and again attempt to board 
the Treasury Bench, he standing by and cheering whilst the 
bold Ben Dizzy beat them off. 

There were many things misty to his mind. One 
he could not comprehend was the perversity that led 
a member of the House, in whatsoever quarter he might 
be seated, to challenge a decision on the part of even 
a subordinate member of the Administration. Sir William 
Harcourt used to take great delight in " drawing " the 
Admiral. This was not a difficult thing to accomplish. 
Express in plain terms the conviction that the Government 



iS97 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 39 

had blundered ; say that a particular Minister had done 
something he ought not to have done, or left undone that 
which he should have done. Thereupon the House, wickedly- 
watching for the consequence, beheld the Admiral, hitherto 
quiescent, begin to move as a river-boat rocks when caught 
in the swell of a passing steamer. He tossed petulantly 
from side to side, thrust one hand deep in his trouser pocket, 
brushed with the other his scanty locks, as he rested his 
elbow on the back of the bench. Finally, seizing a copy of 
the Orders of the Day, his lips angrily pursed, his brow 
black as thunder, he began furiously to fan himself. 

If the attack proceeded, he indulged in a series of 
tumultuous coughs ; at first eloquently expostulatory, then 
indignantly denunciatory, finally hopelessly despairing. 

Early in the career of the Parnellites the Admiral 
devoted much attention to them. For him, as for his 
esteemed leaders, they proved too much. During the Session 
of 1877, when organised obstruction was in full play, the 
Admiral was known to cough himself hoarse, and in a single 
night to use up, in the process of fanning himself, five copies 
of the Orders abstracted from unconscious members sitting 
near him. Mr. Parnell went on as had been his wont. Mr. 
Biggar took no note of the frantic semaphore signals made 
in his direction. Mr. O'Donnell blankly regarded the irate 
old gentleman with the added aggravation of an eye-glass. 

In the course of time the Admiral accepted the Parnell- 
ites with the sort of pained resignation with which a man 
submits to untoward climatic phenomena. When one of 
them rose to speak, the gallant old salt, with a low groan, 
turned his face to the wall. Only an occasional tremor of 
the nervously folded Orders showed he was listening and in 
pain. The Admiral passed away with the Disraelian 
Parliament, and his type we shall never see more at 
Westminster. 

When the election of 1880 put Mr. Gladstone in power, 
the Parnellites, to the dismay and openly expressed disgust 
of the Conservative nobility and gentry, resolved to stay 



40 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

where they had been quartered when Parliament was 
The Irish dissolvcd. They were in full exercise of their 
Quarter. right ; and, accordingly, country squires, sons of 
peers. University men, and wealthy manufacturers crossing 
over to the Opposition benches had to grin and bear the 
company of Mr. Biggar, Mr. O'Donnell, Mr. Finnigan, and 
the rest. 

There was no pride about Lord Randolph Churchill, 
and, when he established himself in the leadership of the 
Fourth Party, he found the contiguity of the Parnellites 
highly convenient. He and they were joined in the yoke of 
common enmity to Mr. Gladstone and all his works. In 
those days, the Irish Nationalist member was in the House 
of Commons regarded in a light difficult for a younger 
generation to realise. He was a sort of political leper, with 
whom no man would associate. Quite a sensation was 
created when, from time to time, Lord Randolph Churchill 
was seen to turn round and converse with Mr. Healy or Mr. 
O'Donnell, who usually sat immediately behind his corner 
post. 

All that is changed now. Old members have even 
grown accustomed to Irish members being referred to by 
A Cuckoo in a Ministers and ex-Ministers as "my hon. and 
Dove's Nest, learned friend." (Note. — Nearly all Irish 
Nationalist members have been called to the Bar.) Never- 
theless when, in the first week parties settled down in the 
House of Commons elected in 1892, Mr. Willie Redmond 
was discovered seated on the fourth bench above the gang- 
way on the Opposition side, something like a shudder ran 
through the Conservative host. That is the quarter of the 
House where, when the Conservatives are in Opposition, the 
flower of the Squirearchy blooms. To indicate its precise 
bearing, it suffices to say that the bench Mr. Redmond 
marked for his own was the very one frequented by Sir 
Walter Barttelot when his side were in Opposition. 

For Redmond Minor, above all Irish members, to plant 
himself out there was a procedure relieved only from the 
charge of effronteiy by suspicion of a joke. There was no 



i897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



41 



use trying to forestall him. Patriot squires banded them- 
selves together, taking 
turn and turn about to 
be early at the House 
with design to secure all 
the seats on this bench. 
At whatever hour they 
arrived, they found on 
the seat next but one to 
that sacred to the memory 
of Sir Walter Barttelot a 
hat they recognised as 
hailing from East Clare. 
The owner was always 
in his place at prayer-time 
to establish the claim he 
had thus pegged out. 
But men, like eels, grow 
accustomed by use to all 
extremes of adversity. 



A HORRIBLE DISCOVERY. 

After a while Mr. W. Redmond 
endeared himself to his im- 
mediate circle of neighbours by 
loudly interrupting Mr. Glad- 
stone when he spoke on Irish 
matters, and by, from time to 
time, making bland inquiry 
addressed across the gangway 
to Mr. Tim Healy : "Who 
killed Parnell ? " 

A very old member of the 
House, who sits in this quarter 
when the Conserva- ^ Bootless 
tives are in Opposi- Errand. 
of another Irish member of 





zi. 



WHO KILLED PARNELL ? ' 



tion, recalls the company 



42 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

eccentric habits. This was Mr. X., who, some thirty years 
ago, represented a borough constituency. He made his 
fortune at the auctioneer's rostrum, and when he took to 
poHtics, he shrewdly threw in his lot with what in later 
times have been called " the gentlemen of England." The 
Conservatives were then in power, and X., as a faithful 
follower of Lord Derby, a moneyed man withal, sat on the 
fourth bench behind Ministers. 

He had acquired an odd habit of slipping off his boots 
as a preliminary to going to sleep over an argument. The 
sight, occasionally something more, of a pair of stockinged 
feet greatly irritated his neighbours. They dropped many 
hints of their preference for boots. But, more especially 
in hot weather, X. never failed to kick off his boots as a pre- 
liminary to settling down to close attention to debate. 

One night he was in this condition when a division was 
challenged. A happy thought struck an honourable and 
long-suffering member who sat near him. Taking the 
brogues gingerly between finger and thumb, he passed out 
behind the Speaker's Chair, hiding the things under one of 
the benches at the back of the Chair. 

X., thoroughly comfortable about the feet, slept on whilst 
the question was put, and did not even awake when the 
Speaker called " Ayes to the right, noes to the left." The 
bustle of the parting hosts at length aroused him. The 
House was evidently dividing. He had not the slightest 
idea what it was about. It was of small consequence, as the 
Whip would show him into which lobby he should walk. 
Easy on that score, he felt for his boots, and, lo ! they were 
not. He got down on his knees, peered all along under the 
bench, but, like the Spanish Fleet, they were not yet in 
sight. 

The House was now nearly empty. The Speaker was 
regarding his movements with grave attention. The Whips 
at the doorway were impatiently signalling. There was 
only one thing to be done, and X. did it. He went forth 
and voted in his stockinged feet. 

The old member recalls yet another story about X. 



1897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 43 

When he came forward in the Conservative interest, the 
Lord Lieutenant of the day did everything that AOratefui 
one in his position might do discreetly to assist Politician 
the candidate. When X. won the seat, and called to pay 
his respects at the Viceregal Lodge, His Excellency jocularly 
remarked that the new member owed much to him, and that 
he really deserved some reward. X. was delighted. Touch- 
ing the Lord Lieutenant lightly in the ribs, he whispered in 
his ear — 

" Certainly, my lord. I won't forget. There's a neat 
little bracelet in gold at the disposal of her ladyship." 

It was not without some difficulty that the alarmed Lord 
Lieutenant succeeded in averting the consequences of his 
little joke. 

The British public, long familiar with Sir John Tenniel's 
weekly cartoon in Punchy are not aware that this master in 
black and white at the outset of his career ^. , . 

Sir John 

worked in colours. Nearly half a century ago Tenniei's 

1 , J • i i-'i." r i i. earliest Cartoon. 

he entered mto competition for engagement to 
contribute to the frescoes on the walls of the then new 
Houses of Parliament. He was selected, together with Mr. 
Maclise, Mr. Herbert, Mr. Horsley, and Mr. Dyce, who have 
since all achieved the position of R.A. 

In this respect, and in one other much more satisfactory, 
Sir John Tenniel stands in a position of splendid isolation. 
Very shortly after the frescoes were completed, the paintings 
began to disappear. As early as 1863, nine years after the 
completion of the work in the upper Waiting-Hall, the Fine 
Arts Commission reported the paintings to be partially 
disappearing. Since then decay has spread, till, at the 
present day, some of the panels are blank save for suspicion 
of a smudge to be detected under a strong light. The 
one exception to the common lot is Tenniel's fresco of 
" St. Cecilia," to be found on the staircase leading down from 
the Committee-room corridor to the central lobby. 

For some years patient and well-directed effort has been 
made to restore the other frescoes, but without effect. " St. 



44 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



Cecilia," on the contrary, having been dusted and cleaned 
with bread, was found to be in a fair state of preservation. 
It has lately received two coats of a paraffin wax solution 
invented by Professor Church, and all that is now wanted is 
a fairly good light in which it might be seen. 

The secret of this rare triumph is found, as in the case 
of other and older Masters, in the preparation and manipula- 
tion of colours. When the stripling Tenniel came to his 
work in 1 849 it occurred to him that the best way to 
confront the peculiar difficulties of the case was to paint 
very thinly without impasto. In fact, he hardly did more 
than stain with his colours the white ground of the wall. 
Yet this is the one that has lasted, whilst Mr, Herbert's 
fresco, Mr. Horsley's, and the rest, handled with fuller grip, 
certainly with more colour, have vanished, leaving scarce a 
tone of colour behind. 

There is, Professor Church says, no parallel to this case 

of a pure fresco which, for 
nearly half a century, has 
successfully resisted the in- 
fluence of the London atmos- 
phere, more especially as it is 
developed in contiguity to 
the Thames. 

Considering how keen is 
the interest excited by Parlia- 
mentary proceed- The strangers- 




ings, 



how high Gallery. 



A TERRIBLE OFFENCE. 



the form of clapping hands. 



political feeling occasionally 
runs, it is remarkable how 
rare are the interruptions to 
debate by strangers indulging 
even in an ejaculation. The 
most common outbreak from 
the Strangers' Gallery takes 
Some village Hampden on a 



visit to town, making his way to the Strangers' Gallery of 



1 897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



45 



the House of Commons, listening entranced to an impassioned 
speech, gives vent to his 
feelings in the ordinary- 
way by clapping his hands. 
That is what is usually 
done in similar circum- 
stances at meetings in the 
country he is accustomed 
to attend. Why it should 
be different in the House 
of Commons he does not 
at the moment realise. 
Full opportunity for think- 
ing the matter over is 
invariably provided, he 
being summarily led forth ^^^^^^^Hi^idlll 





NOTICE TO QUIT. 

by the attendant and conducted 
to the door of the outer lobby. 

The funniest disorderly in- 
terruption to debate I ever 
heard in the House .... , 

A Voice from 
of Commons passed the Press 

undetected by the ^ ^^' 
authorities. At the time, some 
years back, there was still in the 
Press Gallery a very old member. 
He had, in fact, been in the 
gallery so long, had heard so 
many speeches, seen so many 
^<24 processions of members coming 
and going, that familiarity 
justified its proverbial conse- 
quence of breeding contempt. Perhaps of all members of 



EVICTION. 



46 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

the House, the one J. had the most rooted dislike for was 
Mr. Gladstone. This was partly based on political grounds, 
J. being from birth and associations a high old Tory of the 
Church-and-State kind. The objection was possibly nurtured 
by the fact that Mr. Gladstone was a voluminous speaker, 
whom it was necessary to report fully, and when, towards 
midnight, a man got a ten-minute or quarter -of- an -hour 
" turn " of the orator, it meant unduly prolonged labour. 

Next to Mr. Gladstone, J. mostly disliked his own mis- 
guided countrymen, the Irish Nationalist members. As it 
was not always necessary to report what they said, he had 
the opportunity of listening, and was accustomed to growl 
out a commentary upon their speeches. One night, after 
dinner, Mr. Sexton introduced into his discourse a statement 
that particularly irritated J. 

" No, no," he cried, in audible voice, shaking his head 
reprovingly at the member for Sligo. 

Standing in his accustomed place below the gangway, at 
the other end of the House, Mr. Sexton distinctly heard the 
contradiction. 

" An honourable member above the gangway," he 
observed, " says, ' No, no.' " 

Members in the quarter addressed protested that they 
had not spoken, but Mr. Sexton had heard the contradiction, 
and in an aside of some length demonstrated its ineptitude. 

J. was remarkably silent for the rest of his turn. 

It was not he, but a venerable and esteemed colleague 
on the same paper, who, at the end of a quarter of an 
hour's " turn," during which reporters to right and left of him 
had been taking verbatim note of an important speech by 
Mr. Gladstone, was accustomed to bend over to his neighbour 
and in a hoarse whisper inquire, " What line is he taking ? " 

The other day I saw treasured in a private library what 
is perhaps the earliest collection of Parliamentary speeches. 
They were delivered by Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper, 
in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, father of the more famous 
Francis Lord Verulam, and were spoken in successive Parlia- 



1897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 47 

ments. The addresses are written out on parchment that 
has withstood the wear and tear of more than . 

An ancient 

three centuries. Half-way down one of the Parliamentary 
speeches is a break marked by this note : 
" Hereafter ffolloweth that I intended to have saide if I 
had not byn countermaunded." 

Here is consolatory suggestion for Parliament men in a 
reign that has lasted longer than Queen Elizabeth's. In 
Mr. Courtney's case, mentioned on an earlier page (when on 
a Wednesday afternoon he talked out a Woman's Rights Bill 
he had risen to support), had he been aware of the precedent, 
and disposed to follow it, he might have averted calamity 
to the measure in which he took such generous interest. 
Had he been content to discontinue his prepared speech at 
the point where interruption grew boisterous he might, on 
the next morning, have pasted in a book of pleasant refer- 
ence whatever measure of report the newspapers gave. 
Then, with the prefatory note, " Hereafter followeth what I 
intended to have said if I had not been countermanded," 
might appear at length the precious apothegms whose 
delivery was checked by the noise of inconsiderate persons 
wearying to get home. 

In the recently published Life of Philip Duke of Wharton 
there leaps to light a record usefully illustrating the standard 
of morality in those " good old " Parliamentary Du^ai 
times, whose lapse we occasionally hear deplored. Duplicity. 
When Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester, was arraigned on 
a charge of treasonable conspiracy against good King 
George, Wharton espoused his cause and undertook the 
task of defending him before the House of Lords. When 
the indictment had proceeded a certain length, the Bishop's 
friends became anxious to know whether all had been 
alleged, or whether the representatives of the Crown had any 
cards up their sleeve. Wharton undertook to find out. He 
called upon Sir Robert Walpole, at the Prime Minister's 
residence in Chelsea, and protested his poignant regret at 
having hitherto adopted a line of conduct distasteful to the 



48 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1S97 

King and hurtful to his faithful Minister. By way of atone- 
ment he now offered to join in the denunciation of Atterbury, 
and begged the Premier to coach him up on the subject of 
the Bishop's guilt. 

Walpole, delighted to secure so important a recruit on 
the Ministerial side, told him everything. Next day the 
Duke appeared in his place in the House of Lords, and with 
a thorough knowledge of the strong and weak points of the 
prosecution upon which the Premier had dilated for his 
instruction, he delivered a powerful speech in favour of the 
Bishop ! 

It is happily impossible to parallel this achievement from 
modern Parliamentary records. The nearest approach to it, 
Lord Eicho in ^^^ removed from its slippery footing, was Lord 
two Pieces. Elcho's doublc dealing with the Derby Day. In 
the Session of 1890 he, in a speech that disclosed a real 
humorist, moved the adjournment of the House over the 
Derby Day. Two years later, in a discourse equally witty 
and not less convincing, he seconded an amendment by Sir 
Wilfrid Lawson traversing the proposal that the House 
should make holiday on account of the race on Epsom 
Downs. 

That is obviously a very different thing from the 
deliberate turpitude of the Georgian Duke. It marks the 
higher standard of morality which governs Parliamentary 
life of to-day that the House of Commons was vaguely 
shocked, being only partially reassured by suspicion that it 
was all a joke. There may be no connection between the 
events, but it is certain that on the following day, the House 
having resolved to sit in spite of the Derby, no quorum 
was forthcoming, and within three weeks Parliament was 
dissolved. 

No unalterable rule orders the location of a Cabinet 

Council. Through the Parliamentary Session it not in- 

cabinet frequently happens that a consultation of Cabinet 

Councils. Ministers is summoned upon some news of the 

moment, and meets in the room of the First Lord of the 



i897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 49 

Treasury. It is not formally called a Cabinet Council, nor is 
it so recorded, with the list of Ministers present, in the papers 
of the next day. But it is really the same thing, and 
occasionally leads to exceptionally important conclusions. 

In the ordinary course of events. Cabinet Councils are 
held in a large room on the first floor of the official residence 
of the First Lord of the Treasury in Downing Street. It 
was from this room that on a historic occasion, whilst 
awaiting a critical message from Constantinople, Mr. Glad- 
stone's colleagues in his second Administration adjourned to 
the scanty walled-garden at the back of No. 10 Downing 
Street. A Government clerk chancing, in the rare leisure of 
a day's work, to look out of the window, happed upon the 
scene and sketched it, showing Lord Granville seated at 
a small table playing chess with a colleague, whilst the 
momentous message still tarried on the wires. 

The room in which the Cabinet Council sit is plainly 
furnished, something after the style of the dining-room in a 
well-to-do boarding-house in the neighbourhood of Russell 
Square. One notes the double windows, a precaution not 
necessary to exclude sound from without, for though in the 
heart of London, Downing Street is, back and front, one 
of its quietest dwelling-places. Possibly the device was 
adopted as final precaution against the escape of sounds 
from within. 

There lingers round the Chamber a tradition of the 
Cabinets of 1868-74 which took much wear and tear out of 
the Council-room. There was, at that epoch, a J^^^ veiiow 
hideous yellow blind attached to one of the window-biind. 
windows. In the course of some remarks on the Irish 
Education Bill, which led to the Ministerial crisis of 1873, 
Mr. Gladstone, restlessly walking to and fro, tugged at the 
blind as he passed it, displacing the cord. The blind stuck 
fast half-way down on a painful slant. Mr. Disraeli, coming 
into power on the crest of the wave of the General Election of 
1874, found the stranded yellow blind in precisely the 
position it had been left by Mr. Gladstone's undesigned 
effort. One of the weekly illustrated papers published in 

E 



so 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



July 1874 a sketch of the new Cabinet Council, which 
incidentally preserves the condition of the wrecked window- 
blind. 

The daily newspapers are not backward in providing 
on the following morning outline sketches of events taking 
place within the jealously-guarded portals of the Cabinet 
Council. On the whole, having regard to accuracy, it is 
better to await the later appearance of letters and diaries, 
either of dead -and -gone Cabinet Ministers or of men 
intimately connected with Ministerial circles. 

Plorace Walpole gives a charming account of a Cabinet 
Council of two, held under the presidency of Pitt. The 

Premier, a cabinet 

who during council of Two. 

the term of his office 
lived in Downing Street, 
was in bed with the 
gout, and had sum- 
moned to conference 
his colleague the Duke 
of Newcastle. It was 
a bitterly cold day, and 
Pitt, according to his 
custom, having no fire 
in his room, had bed- 
clothes piled upon him mountains high. This was all very 
well for the Premier, but rather hard on the Duke, who, as 
Walpole says, " was, as usual, afraid of catching cold." He 
first sat down on Mrs. Pitt's bed as the warmest place, 
then drew himself up into it as it got colder. The lecture 
continued a considerable time, and the Duke at length fairly 
lodged himself under Mrs. Pitt's bed-clothes. 

" A person from whom I had the story," Walpole writes, 
" suddenly going in, saw the two Ministers in bed at two 
ends of the room, while Pitt's long nose and black beard, 
unshaven for days, added to the grotesque character of the 
scene." 

The well-regulated mind refuses to contemplate an 




' COLD, ISN T IT, ARTHUR. 



1 897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



51 



analogous scene in Downing Street of to-day. The boldest 
imagination could not frame a picture calling up before the 
mind's eye Mr. Arthur Balfour in bed on one side of a room, 
whilst there peeped forth 
from beneath the coverlet 
of a couch at the other 
end of the chamber the 
spirituel countenance of 
the Lord Chancellor. 

Horace Walpole, who 
knew his Plato, might, had 

By Earlier ^e chaUCed 
Bedsides. tO think of it, 

have recalled an earlier 
bedside confabulation. 
It will be found in the 
Protagoras, giving an 
account of the visit of 

Socrates, accompanied by his friend Hippocrates, to the 
house of Callias, with intent to make the acquaintance of 
three famous sophists, Protagoras of Abdera, Hippias of 
Elis, and Prodicus of Ceos. Socrates relates how he found 
Prodicus lying in his bed-chamber, rolled up in heaps of 
blankets, his disciples planting themselves on neighbouring 
beds whilst they talked. So great was the crowd, Socrates 
could not get in, and from the thronged portal listened to 
the resonant voice of Prodicus laying down the law. 




• ' AWFULLY COLD. 



CHAPTER V 



APRIL 



Those familiar with Mr. Gladstone's position in the House 
of Commons during the last five years of his long life there, 
find it difficult to realise a state of things that., ^. , , 

° Mr. Gladstone's 

earlier existed. The closing period was pretty last Years in 

11 J' -J J 1- the Commons. 

equally divided be- 
tween the Opposition side and 
the Treasury Bench. In either 
case, with one memorable ex- 
ception — when, amid the 
tumult of the scene that accom- 
panied the closure of Com- 
mittee on the Home Rule Bill, 
Mr. Ashmead-Bartlett (shortly 
after knighted) sat on the 
Front Opposition Bench with 
hands on knees bellowing con- 
tumely at the veteran statesman 
— he was treated in both camps 
with reverent respect. Possibly 
members felt that the end was 
not far off, that a career as memorable for its length as 
for greater achievements must soon close. Perhaps Mr. 
Gladstone was himself mellowed by advancing years and 
the deference paid to him. However it be, his appearance 
at the table, so far from being, as was once the case, the 

52 




BELLOWING CONTUMELY. 



i897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 53 

occasion for jeers and angry interruptions, was the signal for 
the gathering of a great congregation, drinking in with 
delight the flow of stately eloquence. 

In these sunnier circumstances Mr. Gladstone's mind 
may have reverted to earlier times when he suffered from 
quite other manners. There was one night in the _. „. 

T ° other Times, 

springtime of the Session of 1878, when, as the other 
Marquis of Salisbury, speaking in the Lords in 
January of this year, candidly admitted. Lord Beaconsfield 
and his Ministry were engaged in " putting their money on 
the wrong horse." (It was, of course, the money of the 
British taxpayer. But precision is often fatal to epigram.) 
The Jingo fever was at its height. Mr. Gladstone was 
carrying round the Fiery Cross, rousing popular enthusiasm 
that, in due time, swept the Conservative Government out 
of Downing Street. In the House of Commons, passion 
raged with rare turbulence. 

On the particular night referred to, Mr. Gladstone was 
returning to his seat, having voted against the Government 
on a side issue. Some of the gentlemen of England, per- 
ceiving his approach through the glass door of the " Aye " 
lobby, began to howl. The noise brought others to the spot, 
and there arose, echoing round the wondering and, at the 
moment, empty House of Commons, a yell of execration. 
Mr. Gladstone, startled at the sudden outburst, looked up, 
and saw a crowd of faces pressed against the glass door, 
mouths open, eyes gleaming with uncontrollable hate. He 
walked close up and steadfastly regarded the yelling mob. 
Then, without a word, he turned and pursued his way into 
the House. 

This temper displayed in the High Court of Parliament 
was a reflex of the passion that filled the music-halls and 
similar places of public resort outside. A few The Mob out 
days later a crowd assembled before Mr. Glad- of doors, 
stone's private house and, or ever the police could be 
mustered, smashed his windows. 

Amongst his voluminous correspondence Mr. Gladstone 
probably preserves a roughly written scrawl enclosing a 



54 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



post-office order for £1 : los., that being the sum at which, 
according to the newspapers, the damage to his house-front 
was assessed. The writer said he was a working man ; that 
he, his wife and family were so ashamed at reading how the 
great statesman's windows had been broken by a mob calling 
themselves British working men, that they had scraped 




'HE STEADFASTLY REGARDED THE YELLING MOB.' 



together money to repair the damage, and enclosed it 
herewith. 

When, after the General Election of 1880, Mr. Gladstone 

returned to power, master of a mighty majority, the personal 

A Point of animosity displayed towards him in Conservative 

Order. circles was, if possible, increased. It found many 
channels during the long course of the Bradlaugh controversy. 
Overworked, sometimes broken down in health, irritated with 
the constant dribbling of personal animosity calculated to 
wear away any stone, the Premier, by occasional outbreaks 
of temper, gave the enemy fresh cause to blaspheme. 



i897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



55 



There was a well-remembered scene when the Land Bill 
of 1 88 1 was in Committee. The House had been cleared 
for a division. The bell clanged through all the corridors. 
Members who had not been present to listen to the argu- 
ments made up for the remissness by crowding in to vote. 
Suddenly, to the astonishment of every one, to the consterna- 
tion of Dr. Playfair — under that style Chairman of Com- 
mittees at the time — the Prime Minister was discovered 
standing at the table commencing a speech. In the circum- 
stances of the moment that is a breach of order upon which 
it would seem impossible for the newest member to stumble. 
That the Leader of the House, a Parliamentarian of fifty 
years' experience, should thus fly in the face of the Standing 
Orders at first took away the breath of the Opposition. 
When regained, they used it to indulge in an angry roar, 
drowning the opening sentences of the Premier's remarks. 

Nevertheless, he stood at the table, waiting till the 
tumult should subside. It is one of the quaint rules of 
debate in the Commons that when the House has been 
cleared for a division a member desiring to raise any point 
of order may speak, but he must needs do it seated with his 
hat on. Dr. Playfair rising to enforce this rule, Mr. Glad- 
stone's Parliamentary instinct auto- 
matically asserted itself and he resumed 
his seat. 

*' Put on your hat ! " shouted the 
Premier's friends. 

Over Mr. Gladstone's sternly set 
angry face there flashed for a moment 
an amused smile. He gently shook 
his head. He knew, what the House 
had forgotten, that he never brought 
his hat on to the Treasury Bench. 
At this critical moment it Vv'as hung 
on a peg in his room behind the 
Speaker's Chair. When this difficulty 
dawned upon his colleagues, hats were 
proffered from various sides. The nearest at hand was that 








DEXTEROUSLY BALANCING 
THE HAT." 



56 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



of Sir Farrer Herschell, then Solicitor-General. Mr. Glad- 
stone took it, and tried to put it on. But it was one of his 
unlucky days. A new and fearsome difficulty presented 
itself The hat was not nearly large enough. As the 
scene grew in tumult and time was precious, the Premier, 
dexterously balancing the hat on the crown of his head, 
said what he had to say, and the scene closed. 

Perhaps Mr. Gladstone, in the better times that dawned 
at the close of his Parliamentary life, never thought of these 
Forgiving and things. He had a gift of forgetting personal 
Forgetting, affront, which stood him in good stead in the 
changing aspects of his political life. In this very Parliament 
of 1 880-5, when Coercion Bills were passed, all-night sittings 
were as common as Wednesday afternoons, and Irish 
members were suspended in batches, the Premier was 
personally the object of that savage vituperation which, 
after the epoch of Committee Room No. 15, the Irish 
members turned upon each other. 



A vain old gentleman," Mr. 



Biggar 



once called him 
was a mild adjura- 



across the floor of the House. That 

tion compared with some of the 
personal abuse directed at him. In 
the Home Rule Parliament, I have 
several times heard Mr. Gladstone 
courteously allude to an Irish mem- 
ber still with us as "my hon. friend." 
He never dropped the phrase, ac- 
companied with friendly look and 
courteous gesture, but there flashed 
on my mind the memory of this 
same member standing below the 
gangway, shaking his clenched fist 
at the author of the Irish Land 
Bill, roaring at him in that vocal 
form Mr. O'Connell was once per- 
mitted to call " beastly bellowing." 
Mr. Bright, subjected to the same experience, threw up 

his long-time advocacy of the Irish Nationalist cause, and 




WITH COURTEOUS GESTURE. 



1897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 57 

became one of its most powerful enemies. Mr. Gladstone 
nev^er, in any individual case, betrayed the slightest evidence 
of recollection of what had been. He had not only forgiven, 
but had apparently overcome the even greater difficulty of 
forgetting. 

Now that Mr. Gladstone has withdrawn from the scene 
he so long graced, the last echo of the old personal resent- 
ment has died away. This state of things ^1,^ Eton 
found pretty testimony in the movement which ^"s*- 
marked the opening of the Session for placing a bust of him 
in the Upper School at Eton. Etonians of all shades of 
politics are found both in the Lords and Commons. Lord 
Rosebery, representing the Peers, Mr. Arthur Balfour, the 
former Eton boy who leads the Commons, joined hands in 
carrying into effect the happy thought. 

Twenty years ago — fifteen years ago — no member of 
Parliament with reputation for ordinary sanity would have 
conceived such an idea. Had he got over that initial diffi- 
culty and promulgated his scheme, he would have been 
promptly hustled on one side. This Session subscriptions 
poured in, old Etonians, Liberals, Conservatives, whatever 
they be, each, all, proud of the boy whose name is entered 
in the school-books of Eton, in the month of September 
1821. 

To Mr. Seale-Hayne, another Etonian, first occurred the 
idea of gathering together a school of old Eton boys to do 
honour to Mr. Gladstone. Six years ago this ^^ ^t^^ 
very month, on the 22nd of April 1891, the Dinner. 
member for the Ashburton division of Devon entertained 
old Etonians at his town house in Upper Belgrave Street. 
It was a notable gathering. With a single exception all 
the old Eton boys present were members of one or other 
House of Parliament. The exception was Mr. Frank 
Burnand, who, as Editor of Punch, may be said to represent 
the universe. 

In addition to the guest of the evening, then Leader of 
the Opposition, full of fire and zeal for the Home Rule Bill, 
was Lord Kimberley, who has this Session resumed his 



58 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



leadership of the House of Lords, and Lord Coleridge, then 
Lord Chief Justice, now gone to another place. Of 
commoners there were Mr. Shaw-Lefevre, Mr. Beaufoy, 
Mr. Leveson-Gower, Mr. Foljambe, Sir Arthur Hayter, 
Mr. Charles Parker, Mr. Harry Lawson, Mr. Milnes-Gaskell, 
and Mr, Bernard Coleridge, All these, members of the 
House of Commons at that time, have since retired from 




"SOME OLD ETON BOYS 



the Parliamentary scene. Mr. Stuart Rendel has become 
a peer ; Sir Hussey Vivian, after a brief sojourn in the 
House of Lords, died ; Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen is now 
Lord Brabourne. Lord Kensington, also translated to the 
peers, died the other day. Sir R, Welby, of the Treasury, 
declining the title Lord Cut-em-down suggested on his 
being raised to the peerage, sits in the House of Peers as 
Lord Welby. Lord Monkswell is still happily to the fore. 
Of the sixteen members of the House of Commons who 



i897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



59 



then sat round Mr. Seale-Hayne's hospitable board only 
four retain seats in the present House 
— Earl Compton, Mr. Herbert Glad- 
stone, Mr. Labouchere, and the host 
himself. 

The gaps on the two front 

benches of the House of Commons 
Sir George g^ow wider year by year. 
Treveiyan. Familiar faces seen there 

through many Parliaments look forth 

no more. Sometimes, as in the case 

of Lord Hartington, Lord James of 

Hereford, Lord Tweedmouth, and a 

score of other old House of Commons 

men, it is the House of Lords that 

draws to it- 
self the life- 
blood of the 
Com mons, 
and never 

shows surprise when it finds how 
dully it beats in the new veins. 
Occasionally the impulse to with- 
drawal from the arena comes from 
a sense of overpowering weariness 
after long strife. The scholar re- 
asserts himself over the politician, 
and the longing for the library 
becomes irresistible. Commonest 
of all, it is Death that with the 
abhorred shears cuts the thin-spun 
thread. 

Happily, in the case of Sir 
George Treveiyan, his withdrawal 
from the scene in which he has for 
thirty years been an attractive and, 

for the greater part of the time, a prominent figure, is due 





A GRAND OLD ETON BOY." 



"SIR HENRY JAMES GOING 
UP TO THE LORDS." 



6o 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



chiefly to renewed hunger after literary work. In common 
with his contemporaries, he is not so young as he was. 
Beyond most of them he has toiled in the public service. 
He is good for years of work to come, and has earned 
a right to choose the field in which he shall chant his 
Angelus. The House of Commons — a large numerical 
section of which has not always been just, not to say 
generous, in its bearing towards the brilliant scholar- 
politician — is now united in its protestation that the loss, 

irreparable in its way, is all its 
own. For his own peace of 
mind and pleasure Sir George 
Trevelyan has undeniably 
taken a wise decision in clos- 
ing his Parliamentary career. 
The admission is made the 
more ungrudgingly since the 
world looks forward to share 
his pleasure in the results of 
his fresh literary labours. 

His score of accomplished 
work, legislative and adminis- 
- i'^- 5HX trative, far exceeds , ^. ., , . 

/ ' A Civil Lord 

the averaere. There with a 




SIR GEORGE TREVELYAN 



Conscience. 



is, nevertheless, a 
feeling among his friends and admirers that he did not, in 
his final achievement of Parliamentary position, justify the 
hopes his start excited. That may be said with fuller 
freedom since the reasons for it are all to Sir George's 
credit. The simple truth is he was too highly strung, too 
sensitive, too chivalrously honest, for the rough and tumble 
work of the House of Commons. This is the explanation 
of the occasional apparent indecision which excited the 
venomous criticism of meaner men. 

Early in his Ministerial career, when it seemed he had 
all the world before him where to choose, he, for conscience' 
sake, took a step that seemed to wreck his voyage. When, 
in 1868, Mr. Gladstone came in on the wave of a great 



i897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 6i 

majority, his shrewd eye discovered the capacity of the 
Competition Wallah, and he made him Civil Lord of the 
Admiralty. Two years later, Mr. Forster's Education Bill 
embodying the principle of payment of State money in 
support of denominational schools, Mr, Trevelyan resigned. 
Of course he personally, or in any practical Ministerial 
relation, had no responsibility in the matter. He might 
have stuck to his ship in the Admiralty yard and let Mr. 
Forster adopt the compromise forced upon him by political 
exigencies. It is quite conceivable that, respecting his 
views, Mr. Gladstone would not have insisted upon his vote 
in the pending division. 

To Mr. Trevelyan niceties of this kind were naughti- 
nesses. As a student of Parliamentary history, with a 
knowledge of men, he must have felt that the most disastrous 
thing a junior Minister can do is to resign on a question of 
Cabinet policy. Not only is such a course inconvenient to 
his leaders ; it undesignedly smites them with reproof. It 
is made to appear that what First Lords and Secretaries of 
State can stomach is too strong meat for the tender moral 
constitution of a Civil Lord of the Admiralty. There is 
nothing a veteran Premier dislikes more than a Junior Lord 
or an Under Secretary with a tendency to resign for con- 
science' sake. 

Sir George Trevelyan had another more memorable and 
finally fatal attack of the same disease at the epoch of 
Home Rule. He never recovered from the J^^^ unpardon- 
tossing about he then experienced. First he abiesin. 
wouldn't have Home Rule, and abandoned place and power 
rather than support his old leader and revered friend. That 
was a hard thing to do. But, as we have seen, it was not a 
new thing. Harder still, bitterest pill of political life, Sir 
George, being convinced, upon reflection and fuller considera- 
tion, that Mr. Gladstone was right on the Home Rule ques- 
tion and he wrong, unhesitatingly avowed his error and went 
back to the fold. 

That is in politics the unpardonable sin. A man may 
be forgiven for crossing over the way, leaving his early 



62 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

friends and ranging himself in the camp of the adversary. 
But before he goes back again, under whatever pressure of 
honest conviction, a man would do well to consider the 
advantages of the alternative course of tying a millstone 
round his neck and dropping into the sea. 

Sir George Trevelyan's courage has through all his life 
been equal to his convictions. This quality was shown in 
The Terror another way, when on the morrow of the murder 
in Dublin, of Lord Frederick Cavendish in Phcenix Park 
he accepted the proffered post of danger. Lord-Lieutenants 
and their Chief Secretaries of to-day know little of the daily 
and hourly existence of their predecessors in office fifteen 
years ago. Something, it is true, has since been realised 
upon disclosure of the systematic sneaking after Mr. Forster 
with murderous intent. Through their term of office 
Lord Spencer and Sir George Trevelyan never drove through 
the streets without an armed escort, whilst protecting police- 
men followed them like shadows, not only in Dublin but in 
London. 

From the window of his bedroom at the Viceregal Lodge, 
Lord Spencer, looking across the Park, could see the spot 
where Lord Frederick Cavendish was done to death. He 
had, indeed, been an actual witness of the murder on the 
fateful Saturday, regarding it with mild interest under the 
impression that it was some boys larking. 

A gruesome story is told in the Chief Secretary's lodge, 

pleasantly set amongst the woods, fronted by the gracious 

A Welcome bcauty of the Wicklow hills. Ten days after the 

Home. new Chief Secretary had taken up his residence 
at the lodge. Lady Trevelyan, looking round the drawing- 
room with housewifely care, observed something lying under 
the sofa. Calling a servant to have it removed, it turned out 
to be the blood-stained, dust-begrimed, knife-pierced coat of 
poor Frederick Cavendish. 

After the murder he was carried home. The coat, taken 
off and thrust under the sofa, escaped the notice of the 
diligent Irish housemaids. A ghastly home-coming this for 
a new tenant ! 



1897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 67, 

It was bad enough for Sir George to face the physical 
dangers and insuperable difficulties of his position in Ireland. 
But his place on the Treasury Bench in the 

ft r r^ 11 • Qrey-haired. 

House of Commons was scarcely less worrymg. 
It is a favourite episode with old romancists how a night of 
terror whitens a man's hair. In May 1882, when Sir George 
Trevelyan became Chief Secretary for Ireland, no thread of 
silver shone in his abundant hair. When, two years and a 
half later, having lived through the time of terror, he resigned 
the office, he was a grey-haired man. 

He never complained of the storm and stress, but 
inevitably it must have told upon his strength. 

It is worry that saps the strength. Sir George Trevelyan, 
who, though a little tired, came out of the stand-up fight in 
Ireland with a brave heart and unshaken resolution, never 
got over the snapping of old ties, the breaking up of ancient 
friendships, that, as it happened, befell him alternately in 
two political camps. 

As every student of Parliamentary history knows, it is 
primarily and largely due to Sir George Trevelyan's far- 
sighted pluck that the agricultural labourer and 

Mr. Arch M.P. 

the small county householder to-day have their 
Parliamentary vote. His introduction of the Household 
Franchise (Counties) Bill in the early days of the Parliament 
of 1874 was notable for two things beyond the favourable 
impression made upon the House by the young member's 
brilliant speech. Mr. Burt, who has since won his way to 
the closest esteem of the most critical assembly in the world, 
took occasion to deliver his maiden speech. 

The other event shows how far we have travelled on the 
Liberal highway during the last quarter of a century. Mr. 
Forster, supporting the Bill, referred to Mr. Arch, then in the 
forefront of his crusade, as " that eminent man." The 
Squirearchy filled the House with roars of derisive laughter. 
That was nothing to the storm of angry indignation that 
burst forth when burly Mr. Forster went on to express a 
wish, " in the interests alike of Parliament and the country, 
that Mr. Arch had a seat in this House." If he had sug- 



64 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



gested Beelzebub as member for Birmingham, the outcry 

could not have been greater. 

To-day, Mr. Arch represents a division of his county, to 

which he has been thrice elected in as many Parliaments. 

He has been, at Sandringham, the 
honoured guest of his colleague on a 
Royal Commission, the Prince of Wales. 
Since the present Session opened, good 
Conservatives have freely joined in a 
subscription set on foot to soothe the 
arch-agitator's closing years with the 
anodyne of an annuity. 

The altered status of the Irish 
member in these degenerate days is 
shown in the marked reduc- -in prison 
tion of the proportion who often." 
have been in prison. Ten years ago 
an Irish member rarely addressed the 
House of Commons without incident- 
ally referring to a time " when I was 
in gaol." As sure as this remark was 
dropped by one member, other of his 
colleagues seized the opportunity of 
reminding their constituents, and readers 
of the Nationalist newspapers, how they, too, had won this 
mark of distinction, a sort of Victoria Cross in Irish political 
warfare in Coercion days. 

Mr. W. O'Brien earned and long enjoyed exceptional 
distinction in connection with his historic trousers. So 
uniform among his compatriots was the level of merit in the 
matter of imprisonment that it was necessary for a man 
emulous of exceptional fame to do something quite out of 
the way in a familiarly trodden pathway to glory. 

Amongst Irish members sitting in the Parliament of to- 
day Mr. Davitt holds the second place in the roll of prison- 
martyrs. Mr. Dillon and his contemporaries in prison life 
had quite amateurish experience compared with the rigour 




1^ 

MR. JOSEPH ARCH. 



1 897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



65 



Mr. Davitt. 




MR. MICHAEL DAVITT. 



of penal servitude through which Mr. Davitt passed in the 
solitude of his cell, brood- 
ing over and hatching the 

Land League scheme. Proud of his 

servitude, Mr. Davitt is not at all 

unready to discourse upon it. Early 

this Session, in debate on Sir Matthew 

White Ridley's release of the dyna- 

mitards, he told again how he was 

made a beast of burden ; how, with 

a rope slung over his armless shoulder, 

he dragged about the stony causeways 

of Dartmoor a truck containing soil 

or rubbish. 

Surely one of the most notable 

scenes the House of Commons ever 

presented — an 
ex-convict telling, 

without bitterness, of the indignities he 
suffered for what he held to be his 
country's good, and a crowded House 
listening attentive, not quite free from 
sense of shame. 

In the matters of having stood in the 
dock on charge of conspiracy against the 
Crown, and having sat in a ..Britherto 
prison cell awaiting further the Corp.- 
developments, the senior member for 
Cork City stands apart. It is James 
Francis Xavier O'Brien's distinction, 
unique among living citizens of this 
Empire, that, having been convicted of 
crimen l<2sce majestatis, he was, in accord- 
ance with the statute of the good old days 
of Edward III., ordered to be hanged, 

THE FOUR QUARTERS OF (Jrawn, and quartered. 

MR. J. F. X. O'BRIEN. _ , 1 n t r\iT» • C 

I never heard Mr. O Brien, one of 
the most modest as he is the mildest-mannered man in the 

F 




66 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

House, allude to this incident in his early life. It is rather 
a favourite topic with his colleagues, who, in some subtle 
sense, feel reflected upon them the glory that surrounds their 
colleague. 

There is a well -authenticated story of a funeral in 
Glasgow, attended by a person, unknown to the undertaker, 
who assumed certain airs of importance that piqued curiosity 
as to his identity. The undertaker, having long mutely 
suffered his obtrusiveness, stopped him as he was about 
to enter the first mourning carriage, and asked him who 
he was. 

" Man," he said, indignation flashing in his eyes, " I'm 
brither to the corp." 

In respect of the many-initialled member for Cork City, the 
other Irish members are, politically, brothers to what almost 
became " a corp," and are inclined to assert themselves 
accordingly. 

As for Mr. O'Brien, he is in personal appearance the very 
last man a casual observer would associate with a tragic 
episode. It is true that a curiously long neck and a trick 
of bending his head forward might, to the morbidly imagina- 
tive mind, suggest reminiscences of preparing to meet his 
doom on the block. But that is an idle fancy. Mr. J. F. X. 
O'Brien is one of the most respected members of the Irish 
Party, with a rare gift of silence. It is a charming trait in 
his character that, on being released from the penal servitude 
to which his capital sentence was commuted, he, instead of 
going about the country posing as a martyr, set up in 
business in Dublin in the wine and tea trade. 



CHAPTER VI 



MAY 



It is a striking coincidence in two careers passed on severed 

continents that, after a lapse of a hundred years, they should 

„ -r • 1 * find a corn- 
Two Trials at 

Westminster, mon Stage in 

a Parliamentary inquiry 
at Westminster. The 
South African Committee, 
which actually, if not 
ostensibly, sat to try Cecil 
Rhodes, were located in 
a room off Westminster 
Hall. Warren Hastings, 
impeached before the 
House of Lords on 
charges of high crimes and 
misdemeanours, alleged to 
have been committed dur- 
ing hisGovernor-General- 
ship in India, had much 
more space allotted to the 
splendid scene of which 
he was the chief figure. 

The stage on which Warren Hastings loomed large was, 
Macaulay writes, " the great hall of William Rufus, the hall 
which had resounded with acclamations at the inauguration 

67 




37^1X15 
SOUTH 

AFRICA 
COM/VJ/TTEE 



IN WESTMINSTER HALL. 



68 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT ,897 

of thirty kings, the hall which had witnessed the just 
sentence of Bacon and the just absolution of Somers, the 
hall where the eloquence of Strafford had for a moment awed 
and melted a victorious party inflamed with just resentment, 
the hall where Charles had confronted the High Court of 
Justice with the placid courage which has half-redeemed his 
fame." 

The proceedings in connection with the investigation of 
the charges against the man who, in some respects, with 
limited opportunities, is the Warren Hastings of Africa, were 
strictly business-like. Here were no " peers robed in gold, 
scarlet, and ermine, marshalled by the herald under Garter 
King at Arms." No tall lines of Grenadiers guarded the 
way to Westminster Hall. No need to keep the streets 
clear by troops of jangling cavalry. The ultimate extreme 
in the other direction was reached. Too often the hearingf 
of causes celebres in London police-courts and in the High 
Courts of Justice are closely akin to first nights at the 
Lyceum. Celebrities of both sexes flock to the scene, eager 
for the new excitement. It was thus when Dr. Jameson made 
his first appearance at Bow Street Police Court. 

Possibly profiting by experience then gained, the South 
African Committee resolved to exclude the general public. 
There being no appeal from this decision, there was no 
blocking of the approaches to the Committee-room. During 
the most exciting phases of the inquiry, the pigeons in Palace 
Yard placidly pursued their quest for stray grain. Within 
the chamber there prevailed a business air of studious 
simplicity. When Warren Hastings was tried in West- 
minster Hall, the grey old walls were hung with scarlet. 
For all decoration, the bare walls of the South Africa 
Committee-room were hung with a gigantic map of Africa. 

A little more than two years ago I chanced to be a 

guest at Groote Schuur, Mr. Cecil Rhodes's much-loved Dutch 

Painting the housc on the outskirts of Cape Town, which did 

Map red. not loug survive the temporary downfall of its 

master, accomplishing in some way an act of suttee. 

Musing over a map of Africa, with its patches of green 



i897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



69 



rounding off Portuguese territory, its orange indicating 
German possession, its mauve marking where the French flag 
flies, its yellow colouring the Congo Free State under the 
Protectorate of Belgium, its wedge of light green thrust into 
Cape Colony showing where the Boers stand, its great splashes 
of red, England's mark on the map — Mr. Rhodes, placing a 
finger on Cape Town and moving it with rapid sweep to 




MR. RHODES AND THE MAP. 



the extreme north of the continent, said, " I want to paint 
the map red from here to there." 

In the great map on the wall of the Committee-room 
the work thus far accomplished prominently shows. Mr. 
Rhodes, as he sat waiting the arrival of his judges on the 
opening day of the inquiry, frequently rested his eyes with 
proud content on the map. He may, as he admitted in 
reply to one of Sir William Harcourt's questions, have been 
" morally culpable." But there was Rhodesia. 

It is curious, observing further points of resemblance 
between the two great State trials, to note how circumstances 
vary after the lapse of a century. There were peers at both. 



70 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

But whilst, when Warren Hastings was tried, their lordships 
Prince and arrived robed in gold and ermine, marshalled by 
Peers in Mufti, the heralds under Garter King at Arms, when 
Mr. Cecil Rhodes was examined, noble lords dropped in in 
ordinary morning dress, thankful to find room to sit with 
humbler folk. " Last of all," writes Macaulay, in his famous 
description already quoted, " came the Prince of Wales, con- 
spicuous by his fine person and noble bearing." 

The Prince of Wales was present on the opening days 
of the proceedings before the South African Committee. 
But he drove down in his private brougham, walked in 
unannounced, unattended, and, like the rest of the community, 
was kept waiting three-quarters of an hour whilst the 
Committee, deliberating in a private room, considered how 
they should dispose of three or four ladies who, in calm 
defiance of prohibition, had secured entrance to the 
Committee-room and, dressed all in their best, beamingly 
awaited the commencement of business. 

The procession of the Committee, headed by Sir William 
Harcourt, marching to seat themselves at the table, brushed 
past the Heir-Apparent without the courtly acknowledgment 
of his presence, perhaps never before omitted. It was a 
small matter, but strikingly indicative of the marble-like 
austerity of the proceedings, devoid from first to last of the 
pomp and circumstance attendant upon the scene Macaulay 
delighted to paint. 

There is another parallel of modern times to be found in 
Warren Hastings's Parliamentary experience and that of a 

Warren famous man belonging to the end of this century. 
chaTies"ltewart J"^^ tweuty-fivc ycars after Hastings stood at 

Parneii. the bar in Westminster Hall upon charges which, 
if proved, might have cost him his life, certainly his liberty, 
he again appeared on the Parliamentary scene. In the year 
1813 the Charter of the East India Company came up for 
renewal. It was decided to examine witnesses at the bar of 
the House of Commons, and Warren Hastings, who since his 
acquittal had lived in retirement, was summoned to attend. 
The object of the bitter resentment of yester-year 




ENTER THE COMMITTEE. 



1 897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



73 



presenting himself in obedience to the summons, the 
Commons received him with acclamation. When, after 
giving his evidence, he retired, members rose en masse, bared 
their heads, and remained standing till his figure disappeared 
through the doorway. 



Seventy-six years later, as far as I know with no 
parallel instance in the meanwhile, a similar honour was 
done to another man. None present in the parneii-s 
House of Commons on a night in the early Apogee, 
spring of 1889 will forget one of the most dramatic scenes 
ever witnessed on this stage of illimitable possibilities. The 
House had been engaged for five nights in debate on an 
amendment to the Address challenging the Irish policy of 
the Government. Mr. Parnell, engaged in attendance on 
the Commission associated with his name, had been long 
absent from his place below the gangway. It was rumoured 
that he was coming to-day. The town still throbbed with 
excitement of the news from Madrid. 
On the previous Monday Pigott, 
the mainstay of the charges against 
Mr. Parnell, breaking down under 
the masterly cross-examination of 
Sir Charles Russell, fled. On this 
1st of March came news that he 
had finished his career with a pistol- 
shot. 

The incident served to intensify 
the sympathy with the man against 
whom Pigott had plotted. The 
sitting wore on towards midnight, 
and still Parnell did not come. It 
was so much his usual manner to 
avoid anything like fulfilment of 
expectation, to stay away when he 
was expected, to turn up when no 

one was looking for him, that members came to the conclusion 
he would not be seen. 




MR. PARNELL RISES. 



74 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

Suddenly, just after eleven o'clock, a sharp ringing cheer 
from the Irish members drew all eyes in the direction of 
their camp. There was Mr. Parnell, standing in the modest 
place he affected, half-way down the second bench below 
the gangway. He had entered quietly, unnoticed. 

Mr. Asquith, who was at the moment on his legs, having 
made an end of speaking, the Irish Leader proposed to 
continue the debate. His followers, growing in excitement, 
leaped up, waving their hats. English members below and 
above the gangway followed their example. Mr. Gladstone, 
turning round and observing Parnell in his place, rose to his 
feet, an example instantly followed by all but one of his 
colleagues on the Front Bench. 

Thus, for some moments, they stood, as if they were in 
presence of Royalty. Whereas it was only the uncrowned 
King of Ireland who had returned to his seat in the House 
of Commons, after triumphant passage through a terrible 
ordeal. 

This particular parallel with the Parliamentary history of 

Warren Hastings is carried out in a minute and interesting 

A Solitary particular. It was not every one who in the 

Figure. Housc of Commons of more than sixty years 
ago rose to their feet to do honour to the great pro-Consul. 
One or two of the managers of the impeachment were 
present. Macaulay writes : " They sat in the same seats they 
had occupied when they had been thanked for the services 
rendered in Westminster Hall. These gentlemen were not 
disposed to admit that they had employed several of the 
best years of their lives in persecuting an innocent man. 
They accordingly kept their seats, and pulled their hats over 
their brows." 

At the time when Parnell returned to his Parliamentary 
duties, whilst echo of Pigott's pistol-shot still sounded 
through the streets of London, Mr Gladstone's colleagues, 
seceding from his leadership on the question of Home Rule, 
had not taken the final step of going over to the Tory camp. 
As ex-Ministers they still claimed the right of places on 
the Front Opposition Bench. Thus it came to pass that 




i897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 75 

when Mr. Gladstone and his Home Rule colleagues rose to 
do honour to the man who, in conjunction with his cause, 
had cost the Liberal Party so 
much, and was in the near 
future to cost them every- 
thing, one figure remained 
stubbornly seated at the gang- 
way end of the bench, with 
hat tilted over his brow. 

It was Lord Hartington. 

One short year later, Mr. 

Parnell, sitting in the very 

place whence he 

Nadir. 

had risen to front 
that memorable scene, sadly 
recalled it. Once the arbiter 
between the two great parties with hat tilted over brow. 
in English politics, he was 

now disgraced and impotent. Twelve months earlier the 
autocratic leader of a united party, to-day there were none 
to do him reverence. 

It was characteristic of the stern, unbending nature of 
the man that during the brief time he remained in the 
House after his fall he took a course specially calculated to 
mark its abyssmal depths. The large majority of his 
former following who had broken away from him after the 
scuffle in Committee-room No. 15, retained their old places 
on the benches below the gangway. Parnell and the 
faithful few who stood by him might conveniently have found 
a place, as the Redmondites have since done, on the bench 
behind. To retire would be to admit the power of " gutter 
sparrows " to depose the eagle. There was a certain place 
on the second bench below the gangway where he had sat 
whilst he enjoyed Sultanic honours amongst the Irish 
members. There was nothing changed in him. Only they 
were faithless. 

So, night after night, he took his old seat in the centre 



76 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

of the camp of the enemy — bitterest of all enemies, the 
estranged friend. With Mr. Tim Healy on one side and 




AN UNCOMFORTABLE POSITION. 



Mr. Sexton on the other, he sat by the hour in haughty 
silence, ignoring their existence as utterly as if they had 
been stocks and stones. 

Sir Henry Edwards, who did not live long enough to 

see this year's daffodils- — - 

daffodils, 
That come before the swallow dares — 

was type of a Parliament man almost extinct. It is thirty 
years next month since he entered the House of Commons 
An Old-style ^^ member for Weymouth. He was just in time 
Member, to witncss Mr. DisracH's historic gyrations on 
the platform of Parliamentary reform. He remained 
member for Weymouth till another Reform Bill swept the 
little borough into the limbo where linger the ghosts of 
Gatton and Old Sarum. There were just under seventeen 
hundred voters on the register. Every man of them knew 
the warm pressure of Henry Edwards's hand. Not a poor 
wife in the circle that had not benefited by his blankets. 



i897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



17 



As for the children, some for the first time in their little lives, 
as they munched his cake and sucked his " goodies," realised 
how kind a phenomenon a father might he. 

Unlike other members whose connection with a constitu- 
ency is peremptorily sev^ered, Henry Edwards to the last 
kept up his friendly relations with Weymouth. As surely 




SIK HENRY EDWARDS AND HIS STATUE. 



as the name of Calais was seared on the heart of Queen 
Mary, so, if search were made, Weymouth would be 
found written on the heart of Henry Edwards. As regularly 
as Christmas came round the aged poor of the disfranchised 
borough banqueted upon his bounty. Weymouth was not 
ungrateful, setting up his statue in her most public place. 
Edmund Yates, a very old friend, was the originator of the 
fable that the principal contributor to the statue fund was 
Henry Edwards himself 



78 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



" A good, kind man," Yates used to say, " not letting his 
left hand know what his right hand did. He gave the 
money secretly, and blushed to find it a statue." 

Yates had a circumstantial story of strolling through 
Weymouth on a moonlight night and coming upon Henry 
Edwards walking round and about the statue, observing its 
effect from varying distances. But Edwards was accustomed 
to being chaffed by his friends, and as it was always done 
good-humouredly, with display of real personal liking, he 
suffered with a smile. 

He made a considerable fortune during the Crimean 
War, the result of a lucky consignment of linseed. Whence 
the style of " Linseed Edwards " under which he was known 
amid ancient House of Commons smoking-room coteries. 
It would not have been difficult for him to find a seat else- 
where after Weymouth was 
absorbed in the county. But 
his faithful heart could not 
woo another constituency. 
He and Weymouth were a 
sort of political Darby and 
Joan. When the ruthless 
hand of the reformer severed 
the union, he to the end of 
his days remained a Parlia- 
mentary widower. 

At the Reform Club and 
elsewhere he retained many 
of the friendships and ac- 
quaintances made in the 
House of Commons. He 
aimed at winning the distinc- 
tion of/? veritable Amphitryon, 
I Amphitryon oil r on dine. He 
was justly proud of his cheer- 
ful little dinners in Berkeley 
Square. In their composition W. S. Gilbert's idea of a 
perfect dinner was realised, the company on the chairs being 




SIR HENRY EDWARDS ON A TRIAL TRIP. 



1 897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



79 



selected with skill and care equal to those bestowed upon 
the viands and the wine on the table. 

Another scene on which Henry Edwards was found at 
great advantage was a trial trip of the P. and O.'s ever- 
increasing, ever-improving fleet. It was an ominous sign 
that, when the bidia set forth on her trial trip last August, 
he was obliged to decline the invitation of his old friend 
Sir Thomas Sutherland. I suppose it was the first of these 
charming voyages he had missed for twenty years. At 
other times he was sure to be found among the company. 
It was delightful to see him when the seas were calm, 
pacing the snowy deck in a natty serge suit suggestive 
of the trained yachtsman, his peaked cap cocked a little 
to one side so that he might keep his win'ard eye on the 
offing. 

A kindly soul, withal shrewd-headed, he lived a fortunate 
life and died a happy 
death. For as the 
newspaper report hath 
it, " he died in his 
sleep." 

A paragraph has 

been going the rounds 

Hats and to the effect 

Heads, that at a 

meeting of the Kildare 
Archseological Society 
a hat worn by Daniel 
O'Connell was ex- 
hibited. There was 
no mistake about the 
article, for O'Connell, 
mindful of the com- 
pany he occasionally frequented, had written his name inside. 
That seems to have been a supererogatory precaution, for 
the hat was so large it would have been useful to but few 
of O'Connell's contemporaries. The chairman putting it on 




TRYING ON O'CONNELL'S HAT. 



so LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 189 

partially disappeared from view of the alarmed audience, the 
rim of the hat coming down to his chin. 

It is stated that " the width of the hat was 8^ in. ; its 
longer diameter 10 in." 

I have garnered some particulars of the sizes of the 
heads of eminent men, but have come upon nothing so 
big as this, Mr. Gladstone sports a hat of the size of /f , 
exactly Lord Macaulay's measurement. Lord Beaconsfield 
wore a hat of 7 inches, an undesigned but characteristically 
courtly imitation of the Prince of Wales, whose hat is of the 
same size. Charles Dickens, the late Lord Selborne, and 
Mr. John Bright wore hats 7^ size. The late Earl Russell 
wanted an eighth more. Charles Dickens's hat would have 
been too small for Thackeray by half an inch. Louis 
Philippe and, strange conjunction, M. Julien wore hats of 7^. 
An illustrious man of recent times who took the smallest hat 
on my list was Dean Stanley, for whom 6£ sufficed. For 
his friend Dr. Thompson, Archbishop of York, a hat of full 
eight inches diameter was necessary. 

Dean Stanley's hat, comparatively small as it was, on 

one occasion held more than his head. There still lingers 

. , . round St. Margaret's Church echoes of a story, 

A singular ° ■' ' 

Pulpit told about a sermon preached by the Dean to a 

rac ion. jYiorning congregation, including the accustomed 
leavening of members of the House of Commons. When 
the service was over, the Dean, evidently much pleased, 
remarked to his wife on the exceeding close attention the 
congregation had paid him. 

" I don't wonder at it, my dear," she said, " when one of 
your gloves was all the time on the top of your head." 

The Dean was habitually immobile in the pulpit, and 
accustomed to walk there with steady step. Removing his 
hat before entering the vestry, of his gloves therein stored 
one rested on the top of his head, and remained through his 
discourse. 

At least, that is the story told in ordinarily reputable 
Parliamentary circles. 



CHAPTER VII 

JUNE 

On the 17th of next month it will be sixty years since 
Queen Victoria first appeared in the House of Lords. The 
occasion was not to welcome the coming Gfuest ^^ ^ 

° ° The Queen 

in the person of a new House of Commons, and 
but to speed the parting guest — the last Parlia- '"^ <ament. 
ment of the reign of William IV. All London flocked 
forth to greet the girl -Queen as she passed through the 
streets on her way, for the first time, to sit in Parliament. 
She charmed the crowd with her grace and beauty, her 
progress being accompanied by a salvo of cheering. It is 
noted in contemporary record that she was dressed in a 
white satin robe decorated with jewels and gold, the Garter 
on her arm, a mantle of velvet over her shoulders. 

A gay summer garb this, compared with the sombre 
habiliments in which the Queen made her final entrance to 
the House of Lords. But it is not nearly so pretty as that 
described by Miss Wynn, the very first in which the new 
Queen presented herself to her subjects. 

It was the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord 
Chamberlain who were privileged to behold the vision of 
loveliness. William IV. died just before dawn ^^ ^^^jy 
of the 20th of June 1837. The Primate and Morning visit, 
the Lord Chamberlain were in attendance waiting the end. 
When it came they posted off to Kensington Palace, where 
the girl, straightway become a Queen, lived with her mother. 

It was five o'clock in the morning when they reached 

Si G 



82 LATER PEEPS x'^T PARLIAMENT 1897 

the Palace. Naturally no one was up. Archbishop and 
Lord Chamberlain took turns in thumping at the gate, and 
at length brought up the porter. He thought the courtyard 
was near enough access to the house for elderly gentlemen 
out at such time in the morning. The Archbishop and his 
companion, after forlornly hanging round, found their way 
into a room off the courtyard. Here at least was a bell, 
which, being in good training with their exercise at the 
door, they vigorously rang. After long delay they saw the 
Princess's maid, who said her mistress was fast asleep and 
could not be disturbed. Their message, they urged, brooked 
no delay. So the Princess was awakened, and Miss Wynn 
writes : — 

" In a few minutes she came into the room in a loose 
white night-gown and shawl, her night- cap thrown off, her 
hair falling upon her shoulders, her feet in slippers, tears in 
her eyes, but perfectly collected and dignified." 

I wonder some great artist has not transferred this 
simple picture to imperishable canvas. It does not seem 
too late to begin even in the sixtieth year of the reign 
which opened in this room off the courtyard. 

The last time the Queen opened Parliament in person 
was on the 5th of February 1880. It was noted at the 
„ „ , ^ , time as a curious incident that in the course of 

Her Alajesty s 

last Visit to the proceedings the Queen very nearly lost her 
es m ns er. ^j.q^j^_ Seating hcrsclf on the throne, the long 
white ribbon pendant from the back of the cap on which the 
crown was set caught in her dress. But for the presence of 
mind of the Princess Beatrice, who deftly released the ribbon, 
the least that would have happened would have been that 
the Queen would have presented to the brilliant assembly 
the curious effect of the crown askew on the top of her head, 
portrayed in the melancholy design of the coinage struck a 
few years later. 

In the April number of the Strajid of last year appears 
the following passage : " Within the walls of the Palace at 
Westminster, and on the grass - plots in its immediate 



1897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 83 

neighbourhood, statues are appropriately raised to great 
Parliament men. The muster will surely be Lord Randolph 
incomplete if place be not found for a counterfeit churchiii. 
presentment of Lord Randolph Churchill. . . . The House 
of Commons will not always refrain from doing honour to 
one of its most brilliant, if one of its most wilful, sons." 

This was an obvious suggestion, needing only to be 
thrown out to find acceptance. During the recess some 
correspondence privily took place among members, and as 
soon as the Session opened a small committee got to work 
and threw the project into practical shape. It was wisely 
resolved to have, not a full-length statue with the inevitable 
stone legs and marble fringe to a modern frock-coat, but a 
bust, to be placed in one of the passages of the House, 
where it might be seen by members going to and fro on 
their ordinary business. 

The subscription, limited to a guinea, is open only to 
members of the House of Commons who were contempor- 
aries at one stage or other of Lord Randolph's meteoric career. 
The list is of itself striking. If it were possible to engrave 
the names in columns on the pedestal it would add consider- 
ably to the historic value and interest of the monument. 
How much has happened since Lord Randolph sat in the 
House as member for Woodstock is found in conjunction of 
the two simple matters of fact that Mr. Gladstone sent his 
subscription from Cannes, where, far removed from the vortex 
of political life, he was making spring holiday in a green 
old age ; and that the plain Drummond Wolff of Fourth 
Party days sent his tribute from Madrid by the cheque of 
his Excellency the Right Hon. Sir Henry Drummond Wolff, 
G.C.B., G.C.M.G., Her Majesty's Minister to Alfonso XIII., 
King of Spain. 

If Lord Randolph's esteemed successor in the Leadership 
of the House of Commons were still alive, there is no doubt 
that, forgetful of some bitter memories, his ..qij 
guinea would also be forthcoming with intent Morality." 
to keep green the memory of V enfant terrible of his troubled 
times. By a happy chance Lord Randolph Churchill and 



84 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



The Portrait. 



Mr. W. H. Smith, sometimes divided in life by sharp turns 
of controversy, united in death, will in memories of future 
Parliaments live together in close companionship. It is 
arranged that, when completed, Lord Randolph's bust shall 
have an honoured place found for it in the corridor leading 
out from the lobby, by the main staircase, where the placid 
face of " Old Morality " looks out on the stream of members 
hurrying to and from the House. 

Another indication of the wisdom that prevails in the 
councils of the committee in charge of the bust is found in 
the fact that they have determined the face 
reproduced shall be that familiar to the House 
of Commons prior to Lord Randolph's journey to South 
Africa. The Lord Randolph who set forth in quest of sport 
and gold and health carried the face familiar in the House 
of Commons, on public platforms, and in a thousand illus- 
trated journals. He was closely shaven with the exception 
of a heavy moustache, the tugging of which during debate 
in the House of Commons was an appreciable assistance in 
concentrating his thoughts and shaping his replies. He 
came back almost unrecognisable, with short, thick, brown 

beard, cultivated amid 
the exigencies of life 
on the veldt. 

I am the fortunate 
possessor of a portrait 
for which Lord Ran- 
dolph sat in the year 
I 89 1. It was painted 
in his library at Con- 
naught Place, and is 
admitted to be the 
most faithful present- 
ment of the living 
man. When in the 
year following Lord 
Randolph set out on his travels through South Africa he 
commissioned the artist to paint a replica. This, on the 




LORD RANDOLPH CHURCHILL. 
Sketched by F. C. Gould from the Painting hy E. A. Ward. 



1897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 85 

eve of his journey, he presented to his mother, the Duchess 
of Marlborough, with whom it remains a precious possession.^ 
It is the face here pictured, mature, resolute, in the very 
prime of life, that the sculptor will carve in indelible marble. 

When, the other day, an Irish member read long extracts 
from a Cork paper, alleging iniquity against a Government 
official, proceeding thereupon to put a question Newspapers 
to Mr. Gerald Balfour, the Speaker ruled him '" t^e House. 
out of order. If, the Speaker said, the Hon. Member were 
prepared on his own responsibility to affirm belief in certain 
statements published in a newspaper, he might thereupon 
put a question to the Minister. But a question might not 
be so addressed merely upon the authority of a newspaper 
report. 

Mr. Gully is so habitually accurate and sound in his 
rulings that he, doubtless, has with him in this judgment the 
authority of the law and the support of the prophets. It is, 
nevertheless, a little startling to people familiar with the 
ordinary usage of the House. It is no exaggeration to say 
that one-third of the total of questions put in the course of 
a Session, an alarming aggregate, are avowedly based upon 
newspaper reports. In most instances the newspaper is 
named as the authority, the Minister being definitively 
questioned as to whether he has seen it. 

The rule, doubtless, had its birth in times when news- 
papers were not, or only furtively existed. To this day 
newspapers remain under a ban in the House contraband 
of Commons. A member dare no more take one Goods, 
out of his pocket and glance at it whilst the House is in 
Session than he dare take off his coat and sit in his shirt- 
sleeves. Strangers, safe in the panoply of ignorance, have 
been known in dull passages of debate to produce an even- 
ing newspaper, spread it forth, and propose to themselves a 
study of its contents. None has lived to repeat the indis- 
cretion. The manner in which the offender is pounced down 

* In 1902 permission was given for the painting of a second replica, which Mr. 
Winston Churchill presented to his mother. 



86 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



upon by janitors from either side of the gallery is in its 
vehemence sufficient to shatter the strongest nerves. 

Another quaint House of Commons' ordinance coming 
down from ancient times forbids direct reference to the 
"Another House of Lords or any of its works. The rule 
Place." is evaded by cautious reference to " another 
place." But that device may not be pushed far without 
risk of reproof from the Chair. In existing circumstances, 
not only with the Premier in the other House but with his 
lordship exercising the functions of Secretary of State for 
Foreign Affairs, the rule has obvious inconveniences. These 
are sharpened by a pleasant habit, native to Lord Salisbury's 
mind, of ignoring the existence of the House of Commons, 
treating the House of Lords to confidences which at the 
very moment he is speaking may, under his instructions, be 
denied to the Commons by the representative of the Foreign 
Office in that House. 

The effect of such procedure on the placid mind of Sir 
William Harcourt is easily imagined. The consequences 
are aggravated since the rule of debate in the House of 
Commons precludes him from giving full expression to his 
feelings. 





LORD MELBOURNE 1837. LORD SALISBURY — 1897. 

TWO PRIME MINISTERS. 



CHAPTER VIII 

July 

There still linger round the Houses of Parliament traces of 
the terror that reigned twelve years ago after the explosion 
in the Crypt, following at no long distance of ^1,^ [^^jgn 
time upon the more serious outrage that shook of Terror, 
the offices of the Local Government Board at Whitehall. 
Something like a state of siege was declared within the 
precincts of the Houses of Parliament. The police garrison 
was more than doubled. The railings of Palace Yard 
formed the limit of approach. Respectable persons halting 
for a moment in passing to look within became objects of 
dire suspicion to the watchful police. The very messengers 
running between the newspaper offices and the Press Gallery 
were numbered and labelled, and required to display their 
authority before passing the cordon of police. 

Up to that period of panic Westminster Hall remained, 
though in somewhat restricted conditions, what it had ever 
been, a possession and a thoroughfare for the vvestminster 
people. In Barnaby Rudge there is a graphic Haii in the 
picture of the scene at the era of the Lord *"*' 

George Gordon Riots, drawn by Charles Dickens from con- 
temporary records. " There were many knots and groups 
of persons in Westminster Hall," Dickens writes, " some few 
looking upward at its noble ceiling, and at the rays of 
evening light, tinted by the setting sun, which streamed in 
aslant through its small windows, and, growing dimmer by 

87 



88 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



degrees, were quenched in the gathering gloom below. Some 
noisy passengers, mechanics going home from work, and 
otherwise, who hurried quickly through, waking the echoes 
with their voices, and soon darkening the small door in the 
distance, as they passed into the street beyond. Some 
in busy conference together on political or private matters, 
pacing slowly up and down with eyes that sought the 
ground, and seeming, by their attitudes, to listen earnestly 




OLD WESTMINSTER HALL. 
From an Illustration in " Barnaby Rudge," by Catterniole. 

from head to foot. Here a dozen squabbling urchins made 
a very Babel in the air. There a solitary man, half-clerk, 
half-mendicant, paced up and down, with hungry dejection 
in his look and gait. At his elbow passed an errand-lad, 
swinging his basket round and round, and with his shrill 
whistle riving the very timbers of the roof; while a more 
observant schoolboy, half-way through, pocketed his ball, and 
eyed the distant beadle as he came looming on. The 
smooth, worn pavement, dusty with footsteps, still called 
upon the lofty walls to reiterate the shuffle and the tread of 



1897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 89 

feet unceasingly, save when the closing of some heavy door 
resounded through the building like a clap of thunder, and 
drowned all other noises in its rolling sound." 

As long as the Courts of Justice flanked Westminster 
Hall, the splendid vestibule was, by necessity, left free to 
access by the people. Whilst the Courts were in the 
sitting, it was scarcely a less picturesque scene ^'^imant's Day. 
than that depicted by Dickens. Shortly before the demoli- 
tion of the old courts, the drama reached its climax in the 
coming and going of the Claimant. Morning and evening, 
through weeks and months, the broad width of Westminster 
Hall was narrowed by a wedge of humanity that opened to 
make room for this portly person waddling to and from his 
carriage. 

When the seat of justice was shifted to the Strand the 
House of Commons clutched at Westminster Hall, and with 
its traditional exclusive selfishness, proclaimed it sacred 
ground. The public were not absolutely excluded, but they 
were not, as heretofore, indiscriminately admitted, necessity 
being created for showing that they had some business or 
errand in direct communication with the courts. If, for 
example, they had orders for the gallery, they might pass 
through Westminster Hall on their way thither. They 
might even, on field nights, stand in groups to the right of 
the big doorway, watching the members pass through, and 
loudly whisper their names. After the explosion panic, the 
public were so rigidly excluded from Westminster Hall, that 
a member might not personally conduct a stranger along 
the echoing pavement of the lonely hall. 

As far as the safety of members in Session in the House 
of Commons is concerned, these restrictions are as ineffective 
as they are arbitrary. A nineteenth-century Guy Fawkes 
provided with a modern explosive would not haunt subter- 
ranean passages or waste his time in Westminster Hall. 
As that blatant personage O'Donovan Rossa showed a 
couple of Sessions ago, there is no difficulty in obtaining a 
seat on the front bench of the Strangers' Gallery. Being 
there, O'Donovan Rossa was content to obtain cheap adver- 



90 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

tisement by flinging out a noisy protest upon the astonished 
heads of members. If he had meant business, he might, at 
his leisure, and with certain aim, have flung on the floor a 
bomb that would promptly and indefinitely have adjourned 
the sitting. 

This contingency was ever present with the authorities 
during the scare. They attempted to guard against it by 
careful examination of anything that looked bulky about 
the person of a stranger. Even members carrying small 
black bags were objects of police suspicion. It was felt then, 
and the assurance remains, that the unassailable basis of 
safety of the House of Commons from murderous assault 
from the Strangers' Galleries is the invincible objection 
Messieurs les assassins have to linger within reach of the 
explosive at its supreme moment. They hanker after the 
slow match and the opportunity it provides of getting away 
to a safe distance, before innocent and unsuspecting so- 
journers or passers-by are blown into eternity. 

One of the quaintest relics of the scare exists out of 
public view in the back courtyard of the Houses of Parlia- 
Forgotten nieut. The long length of this is bridged at 
Sentries, various points by portions of the building. The 
habitual tendency of the dynamitards to place one of their 
infernal machines in a snug corner, under an arched building, 
pointed the police mind to these passages as being the very 
places where attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament 
would be made. Accordingly, in the height of the panic, 
order was given that a policeman should be placed on duty 
at every archway, relief being so arranged that by night as 
well as by day the spot should be guarded. The edict has 
never been withdrawn, and into this peaceful Jubilee year, day 
and night, summer and winter, through the recess as through 
the Session, every archway of the Court Yard echoes to the 
tread of a puzzled policeman wondering what he does there. 

Study of a collection of pictures and prints depicting the 
House of Commons in Session at various epochs of its 
history is, apart from the personalities, interesting as illustrat- 



i897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 91 

ing the changes in sartorial fashion. The House in Session 
in early spring was, to tell the truth, a very ^ , . 

•^ r i> ' 'J Dress in the 

ordinary-looking assembly. Summer setting in House 
with the severity of the last two years, the " ommons. 
dull-toned benches blossom in summer array. Now is 
the coy cummerbund seen, and the white ducks of Cap'en 
Tommy Bowles flutter to and fro, imbuing the scene with 
a grateful touch of purity and innocence. 

At its best and brightest, the House of Commons is, 
from the spectacular point of view, a poor thing compared 
with what it was in the time of Walpole, or even of Pitt. In 
the National Portrait Gallery there is a precious picture of 
the House, showing it at work in the Session of 1742. It 
is an engraving by Pine from a drawing from life by Gravelot. 
The scene is, of course, the old House of Commons, with its 
chapel-like galleries, its candelabra pendant from the ceiling. 
Speaker Onslow is in the Chair, and the crowded audience 
is addressed by Sir Robert Walpole, who bears the blue 
ribbon of the Garter. All the members wear wigs, and are 
dressed in handsome frock-coats with high stocks. Accord- 
ing to the custom common to gentlemen of England of the 
day, every man sports his sword. To-day the only armed 
man in the House of Commons is the Serjeant-at-Arms. 

The inflexibility of the rule against either members or 
strangers bringing weapons into the House incidentally adds 
to the long list of injustices to Ireland. It is an ancient 
privilege of the City of Dublin, that when in its corporate 
capacity it presents a petition to the House of Commons, 
the document is presented in person by the Lord Mayor, 
gowned and chained, accompanied by his sheriffs, his mace- 
bearer, and his sword-bearer. But before entering the House 
the sword-bearer is obliged to deposit his lethal weapon 
with the door-keeper. 

Another instance where this rule, prohibiting the carry- 
ing of arms in the House, arbitrarily interfered ..,.,, 

_'=' ' -' Mr. Marjori- 

with a peaceable procedure, is connected with banks's dis- 
one of the few speeches the present Lord Tweed- *''''**'" ™*"*' 
mouth addressed to the House of Commons whilst he still 



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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 




LORD TWEEDMOUTH AND THE NEW RIFLE. 



sat in it as Mr. Marjoribanks. He had strong views in 
respect to a new magazine rifle. I forget precisely what 

direction they took. In 
order to do justice to 
their exposition, it was 
found necessary to turn 
the Whips' room into a 
sort of armoury. For 
several nights any one 
entering, on whatever 
business, was pretty cer- 
tain to find himself covered 
by a deadly barrel, along 
whose glistening level 
Mr. Marjoribanks's eye 
gleamed. He was merely 
explaining to some one 
else the bearings of the new rifle. It was startling at first. 
But when the caller, by the frequency of his visits, grew 
accustomed to it, it came to be regarded as quite a friendly 
reception. 

Mr. Marjoribanks had looked forward to the advantage 
of a collection of the magazine rifles within reach of him as 
he stood at the table of the House delivering his lecture. 
The Speaker thought it would be interesting, but ruled it 
was irregular. So the rifles were left in the Whips' room. 

In Pitt's time swords were no longer worn in the House 
of Commons, though in other respects the dress of members 
In Pitt's 's scarcely less picturesque. In the National 
Parliament. Portrait Gallery there is another painting show- 
ing the House of Commons in Session in 1793. It is the 
work of a German artist, Karl Anton Hickel, who was 
fortunate in obtaining special sittings from prominent 
members. That such a picture was in existence long 
remained a tradition round Westminster. Diligent inquiry 
failed to get upon its track. It was ascertained that the 
artist on returning to his own country had taken his work 
with him. 



1897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



It was the late Mr. Edward Stanhope who did the nation 
the service of capturing the 
prize. By diHgent research 
he discovered that in the 
year after the Battle of 
Waterloo, the Emperor of 
Austria bought the picture 
from the heirs of the painter. 
It was carried to Vienna 
and subsided into a store- 
room. Earl Granville, at 
the time Foreign Secretary, 
took a warm interest in the 
matter, with the result that 
the Emperor of Austria 
graciously presented the 
picture to the National 
Portrait Gallery, where it 
now hangs — in somewhat 
of a vault it is true, but 





MR. PITT. 
Front Hickel's Picture of the House o/Coimnons. 



worth studying when the sun 
shines. 

The scene is full of life and 
colour. William Pitt, in velvet 
coat and knee-breeches, with 
white silk stockings, is addressing 
the House, looking much less 
like Mr. Chamberlain than he 
does in his statue at Knowle, 
and in the less meritorious work 
of art in the corridor leading to 
the Lobby of the House of Commons. All the members are 
clean-shaven, powdered, and wigged. One on the Treasury 



VERY LIKE SIR FRANK LOCKWOOD. 



94 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

Bench, immediately behind Mr. Pitt, is a colleague start- 
lingly like Sir Frank Lockwood. With the exception of 
one or two members, who wear low, broad -brimmed felt 
hats, all are uncovered. Per contra^ the Speaker wears the 
three-cornered hat, taken in hand in these days only for the 
purpose of counting the House. 

At the corner seat below the gangway, inconveniently 
squeezed, is a figure which one would at first sight take to 
be the Chaplain, though what he is doing there, seated 
among members, is inexplicable. It is not the Chaplain, but 
the Master of the Rolls, arrayed in black gown and clerical 
bands. To-day the Master of the Rolls seated on that 
bench would be as much out of place as would be the 
Chaplain. 

A better- known picture of the House of Commons, 
since it has longer been a national possession, is Sir George 
In Peel's Hayter's view of the interior of the House 
Parliament, at the meeting of the first Reformed Parliament 
on the 5th of February 1833. In the serried ranks on the 
bench immediately behind his leader, Sir Robert Peel, is 
seated " the rising hope of the Conservative Party " — Mr. 
W. E. Gladstone, at the time in his twenty-fourth year, 
member for Newark. There is nothing about the face or 
figure that recalls the statesman we have known in recent 
years, the sole survivor of that now ghostly gathering. 

The muster-roll contains some names familiar in Parlia- 
mentary history. Lord John Russell is on the Treasury 
Bench. Near him his esteemed colleague Lord Palmerston. 
Seated in various parts of the House are Sir Francis Burdett, 
Thomas Fowell Buxton, William Cobbett, John Evelyn 
Denison, afterwards Speaker ; Sir James Graham, Grote, the 
historian ; Gully, the sometime prize-fighter ; Lord Althorpe, 
afterwards Earl Spencer ; Lord Ashley, longer known as 
the Earl of Shaftesbury ; the two Barings, who later severally 
became Lord Ashburton and Lord Northbrook ; Cam Hob- 
house, Jeffrey, of the Edinburgh ; Henry Labouchere, who, 
unmindful of his nephew's later developed prejudices, became 
Lord Taunton ; Macaulay, then sitting for Leeds ; Daniel 



i897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 95 

O'Connell, who in this Parliament preceded Lord Randolph 
Churchill in his preference for the corner seat below the 
gangway to the left of the Chair ; John Arthur Roebuck, 
Lalor Shiel, Christopher Talbot, who only the other day, as 
it seemed, sat in the House of Commons with the proud 
title of its Father, now passed on to Mr, Villiers ; Poulett 
Thompson, Sir Harry Verney, not long passed away, and 
John Walter, proprietor of the Times. 

Among the Standing Orders added in recent years is, 
as already stated, one whereby the Speaker or Chairman of 
Committees, deeming a demand for a division 

... r 1 • r 1 Artful. 

frivolous, may refuse to waste the time of the 
House in sending members round the lobbies. In such cases 
he calls upon members crying for the division to stand up in 
their places. The division lobby clerks are called in, the 
names of the small minority are taken down, and printed 
in the papers distributed on the following day. 

For many Sessions this ordinance was passively operative. 
A fractious minority, knowing what was in store for them if 
they persisted, shrank from the ludicrous position of standing 
up like naughty boys whilst their names were taken down in 
presence of a jeering majority. This Session an ingenious 
mind discovered quite unexpected opportunities in Standing 
Order No. 30. He observed that the names of the minority, 
printed in the Orders of the Day, were reckoned as if they 
had taken part in an ordinary division. This was worth 
double an average opportunity. Not only did the minority 
get a mark each in the table of divisions, but others of the 
majority, who might be pressing them close for precedence, 
were out of the running. The discovery was followed by 
an epidemic of frivolously claimed divisions within the mean- 
ing of the statute. Loyal Ministerialists, staying up late at 
night to back up the Government, sat in anguished impotence 
whilst some five or a dozen members opposite, frivolously 
claiming divisions, ran up their score three or four points in 
a single night. 

After enduring this experience for what seemed an 



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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 




ANGUISHED IMPOTENCE. 



interminable period, an appeal was made to the Speaker, 
who, amid loud cheers, ruled that the practice, as far as it 

affected the division table, was 
an infringement of the spirit of 
the rule. Hereafter, the names 
of these minorities, though they 
will be taken down and printed, 
will not be included in the divi- 
sion list. This ruling was marked 
by a sudden and complete cessa- 
tion of the practice of frivolously 
claiming divisions. 

I hear a pretty story about 
a visit recently paid by Lord 
Charles Beresford to ^ ^g^ ^at 
a Yorkshire town Trick. 
famed for its ironworks. The 
popular visitor was conducted over one of the largest 
foundries, among whose chief possessions is a massive 
Nasmyth hammer. After the, mighty engine had performed 
a series of gigantic opera- 
tions Lord Charles was 
invited to place his hat 
beneath the hammer and 
see what would become 
of it. 

The hat was a new 
one, selected for the special 
occasion. Lord Charles 
had just seen chunks of 
iron battered out to the 
thickness of a threepenny- 
bit. But the commander 
of the Condor, the captain 
of the boat that went up 
the Nile and mended its 

boiler under a heavy fire, was not the man to flinch from the 
ordeal. He took off his hat and placed it under the hammer. 




CRUSHED AGAIN ! 



i897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 97 

Down flashed the enormous weight, stopping short 
within a hair's-breadth of the roof of the hat. Lord Charles, 
with his childlike smile, resumed his prized possession. 

Amongst the visitor's escort was Sir E. Ashmead- 
Bartlett. 

" Most wonderful ! " said Lord Charles, turning to the 
local but far-famed M.P. 

" Oh ! not at all," said he ; "a mere nothing. They 
never fail. Now I'll try mine." 

He placed his hat (not quite so glossy a specimen as 
Lord Charles's) under the hammer. At a given signal down 
it came, smashing the astonished hat much flatter than a 
pancake. 



H 



CHAPTER IX 

AUGUST 

In his preface to White's Inner Life of the House of Coimnons, 

published in the summer by Fisher Unwin, Mr. Justin 

», ^. . M'Carthy writes : " Mr. Gladstone's maiden 

Mr. Glad- ■' 

stone's Maiden speech fell SO Utterly unnoted that, until some 
^^^'^ ' recent publications had settled the question, he 
was almost invariably set down as having made his first 
speech at a later date and on a more important subject." 

More than sixty years have elapsed since the speech 
was made. Few are now living who heard it. Record is 
slight, and, as Mr. M'Carthy points out, is a little mixed as 
to the precise occasion. But Mr. Gladstone vividly re- 
members it. " Mr. M'Carthy," he said, when I called his 
attention to the passage, " has fallen into a slight error. 
My maiden speech was noticed in debate in a marked 
manner by Mr. Stanley, who was in charge of the Bill." 

The memorable speech was delivered on the 17th of 
May 1833. The occasion was the introduction by Mr. 
Stanley, then Colonial Secretary, of a series of resolutions 
on which it was designed to found an Act abolishing slavery 
in the British Colonies. (Thirty-five years later Mr. Glad- 
stone adopted the same form of Parliamentary procedure as 
a preliminary to his Bill for the Disestablishment of the Irish 
Church.) Parliament, the first after the Reform Act, met 
on the 29th of January, and the 17th of May was a little 
early for a new member to claim a hearing. Mr. Disraeli, 

98 



i897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 99 

however, was even more prompt. He was returned for 
Maidstone in the first ParHament of the Queen. On the 
20th of November 1837, it was opened by Her Majesty in 
person, and on the seventh day of the following month Mr. 
Disraeli delivered what remains as the most famous of his 
Parliamentary speeches, the one brought to abrupt conclusion 
with the passionate prophecy, " The time will come when 
you shall hear me." 

Mr. Gladstone has the excuse that he was directly 
dragged into the controversy. Lord Howick, afterwards 
Lord Grey, in the course of his speech pointedly referred to 
the estate of Mr. Gladstone's father in Demerara, drawing 
from its domestic history alleged proof that slave labour in 
the West Indies meant early death for the slaves. 

The Mr. Stanley whose commendation the new member 
was justly proud of became in due time Earl of Derby, 
Prime Minister, patron and colleague of Mr. Disraeli, 

Mr. Gladstone's memory of persons and incidents con- 
nected with his first Parliament is so precise as poor^keepers 
to extend to the door-keepers. He remembers in the 
their names, " Scott and Williams, one tall, the o'n'"*'"^- 
other short, but both with snow-white or powdered hair and 
florid faces." 

In this connection, Mr. Gladstone mentions a fact which 
will be new to the present generation of Parliament men. 
In his time, and for many years after, the door-keepers were 
not paid by salary charged on the Civil Service Estimates, 
but were dependent upon fees voluntarily paid them by 
members. An old official, whose memory goes back over 
thirty years, tells me he heard that the sum given was " two 
guineas each." This must mean a contribution per member 
of two guineas, one for each door-keeper. As there were 
then 658 members, this sum, duly paid up, would bring 
nearly ;^700 per man for six months' attendance. 

There was a current belief amongst the less highly paid 
servitors of the House that these coveted posts were obtained 
by purchase. It was said that i^iooo was paid "to some one." 
As the some one must needs have been the Serjeant-at-Arms 



lOO 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



of the day, the story is not credible. It is quite possible 
for the student of advertisements in the Church newspapers 
to believe that places for the cure of souls under the ^gis of 
the Church are bartered and sold. But the mind shrinks 
from contemplation of a Serjeant-at-Arms, even in the 
unreformed Parliament, selling the place of door-keeper, and 
guiltily secreting the -^1000 in the pocket of his tight 
breeches. 

I believe Mr. White, the door-keeper whose interesting 
book has recalled Mr. Gladstone's reminiscences of his early 

Parliamentary life, was the first 
door-keeper whose salary was 
carried on the Votes. He was 
appointed by Lord Charles 
Russell, who was certainly far 
above the i^iooo suspicion, 
even had grounds for it not 
been removed by the altered 
circumstances of payment. Lord 
Charles made Mr. White's ac- 
quaintance at a time when the 
future historian of the Inner 
Life of the House of Commons was taking an active part 
in local affairs of the ducal town. He liked him so much 
that, a vacancy in the chair at the door of the House hap- 
pening, he, fortunately for posterity, inducted the Bedford 
citizen. 

The salary of the principal door-keeper to-day is ;^30O 
a year, his colleague in the chair opposite drawing ;^2 5o. 
A Comfortable ^^ ^^ One of the anomalies of the relations of the 
Berth. two Houses that, whilst this modest salary suffices 
for the really hard-worked officials in the Commons, the 
door-keepers in the Lords, whose task is by comparison a 
sinecure, are paid at precisely the same rate. Moreover, 
there are two principal door-keepers in the Lords, who 
between them draw £600 a year. This arrangement did 
not escape the attention of a Committee recently reviewing 
the expenditure of the House of Lords' staff. Vested 




MR. WILLIAM WHITE. 



1 897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



lOI 



interests have been preserved, to the extent that one or two 
assistant door-keepers on the way to promotion will, when 
they attain it, receive the same salary. Thereafter the wage 
of the principal door-keeper in the House of Lords will be 
^200 a year. 

There are probably many poor baronets, not to mention 
earls' younger sons, who would thankfully take the berth at 
the reduced scale of payment. Its 
duties are not exhausting, either to 
mind or body. Day after day in 
the early period of the Session, the 
Lord Chancellor, with full pomp 
and ceremony, takes the Chair at 
a quarter- past four. Prayers are 
read, and a pause for private con- 
versation fills up the time till half- 
past four, the hour at which public 
business is appointed to commence. 
There usually being none, noble 
lords straightway go home, cheered 
by the consciousness of having 
deserved well of their country. 

This privilege the door-keepers, 
of course, share. They also enjoy 
much longer recess at Easter and 
Whitsuntide than falls to the lot of 
their brethren at the door of the 

Commons. Then there is the long recess of something like 
five months, during which they sit, the centre of admiring 
family circles, recalling how the Earl greeted them with 
" Good-morning ! " when it was really twenty-five minutes to 
five in the afternoon ; and what the Royal Duke said (this 
indicated only by initials) when one day he found another 
peer had in mistake taken his umbrella. 

As far as my memory goes back, and it just touches the 
time when Mr. White was principal door-keeper. The chief 
I have found the occupant of the chair a gentle- Door-keeper, 
man specially fitted for discharge of its onerous and important 




WHERE'S MY UMBRELLA ? " 



102 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



duties. The position is one requiring tact, patience, presence 

of mind, and unvarying good 
manner. These are cheap at 
;^300 a year, and the selection 
j of the Serjeant-at-Arms, at least 
I for the quarter of a century that 
I have had opportunity of closely 
observing it, has been singularly 
fortunate. 

By chance rather than by 
ordered progress, the latest chief 
door-keepers have reached the 
blue ribbon of the service via the 
Ladies' Gallery. Mr. Wilson, the 
present incumbent of the chair,^ 
is still spoken of kindly by ladies 
frequenting the gallery in recent 
Parliaments. The exceptional 
popularity he secured in the 
delicate position of custodian of 
ladies in a chamber where silence 
is peremptorily imposed has been established with equal 
universality in the more stirring air of the Lobby. 




MR. WILSON, THE DOOR-KEEPER. 



The House of Commons is quick to resent anything 

approaching rude smartness, or attempt on the part of a 

^, ^ Minister replying to a question to score off an 

Answers that . 

turn away unoffending member. Inability to recognise this 
honourable prejudice had a good deal to do with 
the unpopularity and final downfall of Mr. Ayrton. On the 
other hand, there are few things delight the House more 
than a sly hit dexterously dealt by a popular Minister at a 
too obtrusive member. But the conditions here set forth 
must be rigorously observed. Moreover, there must be no 
malice in the quip. 

This Session there have been two quiet flashes of this 
peculiar humour. In the first, the interlocutors were Mr. 

1 Retired in 1904. 



1 897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



103 



Caldwell and the Lord Advocate (Mr. Graham Murray). 

Students of the Parliamentary reports have no opportunity 

of realising the individuality of Mr. Caldwell. A"Piati. 

He has a rich gift of what an eminent American, tudiniser." 

at present on a visit to this country, calls " platitudinising." 

The word will not be found in the New Oxford Dictionary, 

But it is most effective as indicating a constant, ever-fed 

supply of pointless words, wrapped up 

in cotton-woolly sentences. Amongst 

other attractions, he has a loud, level 

voice, a rapid intonation, and an 

almost inhuman staying power. He 

can go on talking for two hours just 

as conveniently as he can gabble 

through one, and probably will say 

less to the point than he might by 

accident have compressed in a spin 

of sixty minutes. 

One day a suffering colleague on 
the Select Committee on the Scotch 
Public Health Bill cut a notch on a 
stick every time Mr. Caldwell rose to 
make a speech. When the Committee 
adjourned the stick was found to con- 
tain forty -one notches. Of course, 
the member for Mid-Lanarkshire is 
never reported, for the managers of 
newspapers have to consider their 
interests with the public. That re- 
flection does not lessen the anguish 
of those who, whether in Select Com- 
mittee or the House, have to suffer Mr. Caldwell at length. 

It was late at night, in debate on a Superannuation Bill, 
that the Lord Advocate quietly scored off this contribution 
from Scotland to the business resources of the House. The 
proposal of the Bill was that superannuation should take 
place at the age of sixty. Mr. Caldwell, anxious for economy, 
moved an amendment extending the period for five years. 




MR. CALDWELL, M.P. 



I04 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



No man, he argued, ought on the ground of incapacity to be 
laid on the shelf before he reached the age of sixty-five. 

" Oh yes," said the Lord Advocate, sternly regarding 
Mr. Caldwell ; " some persons become incapable long before 
they are sixty-five." 

Members roaring with laughter turned up " Dod," and 
found that Mr. Caldwell is only fifty-eight. 

The second instance this Session is the more welcome 
as coming from an unexpected quarter. A member put a 

question to the Home Public 

Secretary as to the Nuisances. 

powers of County Councils or other 
local authorities to deal with the 
nomad population of gipsies and 
tinkers living in vans. Sir Matthew 
White-Ridley replied that provision 
is made in the Housing of the 
Working Classes Act to enable 
local authorities to deal with nuis- 
ances caused by dwellers in tents 
and vans. Mr. Swift MacNeill's 
ready wit here saw an opportunity 
of dealing a backhander at the 
Primrose League, whose agents are 
accustomed to go about country 
places in vans. 

" Do these powers," he slyly 
asked, " apply to persons in Primrose 
League vans ? " 

" They apply," said the Home 

Secretary, staring straight at his interlocutor, " only to 

persons who become nuisances." 

The laughter which bubbled round Mr. MacNeill's sally 

became a universal shout at the Home Secretary's subtle, 

though effective, retort. 




SIR MATTHEW WHITE-RIDLEY 
IS FUNNY. 



One of the notable points about the Session just closed is 
the advance made by Sir Michael Hicks-Beach in the esteem 



i897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



105 



of the House. The Chancellor of the Exchequer ranks 
amonest the oldest members, having taken his 

° . ° An Old Boy. 

seat for East Gloucestershire m i 804, four years 
before Sir William Harcourt, who justly counts himself one 
of the oldest inhabitants. Long 
ago, Sir Michael made his re- 
putation as a sound debater, 
a safe administrator. In his 
fourth Session, Mr. Disraeli, 
who had a keen eye for capacity, 
picked him out for a minor 
Ministerial post. Gradually 
advancing, he seemed to reach 
his highest point when, in 
1885, he was made Chancellor 
of the Exchequer, Not at 
that time, or earlier, has he 
filled so large a place in the 
estimation of the House as he 
has won during the past two 

years. This may in part be due to better health. It may 
in some measure be traced to the greater ease born of 
fuller self-confidence following on success. Sir Michael 
is, undoubtedly, somewhat lighter of touch than was his 
earlier habitude. Still, in the main, life is to him a serious 
thing, to be regarded through grave eyes with face unlit by 
laughter. 

Perhaps, after all, he is himself unaltered, and owes 
fuller success to personal environment. His solid know- 
ledge, his unfaltering consistency, supply sharp contrasts 
on the Treasury Bench that make members involuntarily 
turn to him with fuller appreciation. 




9-<i^ 



SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH. 



A country member confides to me a gruesome experience 
that has befallen him in connection with the discharge of 
his legislative duties. He did not take a house voices in 
in town this season, and after some experience the Night, 
of private lodgings, engaged rooms in one of the most 



io6 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1897 



lately built af the palatJaV hotels that hit their lofty heads 
above the streets of London. He was much pleased with 
everything on the first day of his stay. The dinner was 
excellent, the wine good, if a little dear, the attendance 
unexceptional, bedroom and sitting-room thoroughly com- 
fortable. He went 
to bed glowing with 
pleasure at his good 
fortune, and soon 
fell asleep. 

How long he 
slumbered he can- 
not say, but was 
awakened by an un- 
familiar voice close 
at his ear. " Are 
you there ? " it 
shouted. 

He certainly 

was, but was not 

expecting anybody 

else. He turned on 

the electric light convenient to his hand, and found he had 

the room all to himself. Again the voice resounded, this 

time a little sharply : — 

" Are you there ? " 

Then he grasped the situation. There was a telephone 
in the room, the latest resource of civilisation, at the disposal 
of tenants on the first and second floors. It must be urgent 
business that would call a man up at this time of night — 
illness at home, perhaps, and urgent recall. 

Jumping out of bed, he approached the telephone, 
through which came again the sharp challenge. " Yes," he 
replied breathlessly ; " who is it ? " 

" It's me," said the voice. " Come away directly ; your 
uncle's asking for you, and the doctor says he can scarcely 
last through the night." 

The M.P. rapidly reviewed his family relations, and 




THE MIDNIGHT TELEPHONE. 



1897 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 107 

knew that he had not an uncle anywhere nearer than 
Baltimore, in distant Maryland. 

" Who are you ? " he asked, through the telephone. 
" What's your name ? " 

"I'm Thompson, the butler, you know," hoarsely whispered 
the voice. " Mistress says, come away directly, your uncle's 
asking for you, and the doctor says he can scarcely last 
through the night." 

" There's some mistake," the member signalled back, a 
little pettishly. It was early in the Session, and the nights 

were cold. " My name is B . You're on the wrong 

connection." 

" Oh ! " said the voice, in pained surprise, and then there 
was silence. 

The member returned to his couch and was soon asleep 
again. He seemed only to have dozed when the silence 
was broken by a well-known voice with the old cry, " Are 
you there ? " Angrily jumping out of bed, he roared through 
the telephone, " What's the matter now ? " 

" Your uncle's sinking fast," cried the too familiar voice, 
now tremulous with emotion. " Mistress says " 

" Go away ! " bawled the member ; " you're on the 
wrong line." 

The story is too painful to pursue, but as a matter of 
sober fact, twice before morning broke were the member's 
slumbers disturbed by the ringing of the telephone bell and 
the peremptory inquiry, " Are you there ? " Whether this 
was preliminary to further news of his sick uncle he does 
not know, remaining under the sheets resolutely irresponsive. 
He made angry remonstrance with the manager on the 
following morning. The manager was exceedingly sorry, 
but the connections had got mixed and the member had 
been awakened to receive some one else's message. 

The other day a Royal Academician, a famous portrait 
painter,^ made a remark on which I have since hopelessly 
pondered. He asked if I had noticed the strong facial resem- 

' Mr. Orchardson. 



io8 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1897 

blance between the Marquis of Salisbury and his nephew, 
Family the Leader of the House of Commons. At first 
Likenesses, sight there are, I suppose, no two personages 
more distinct in appearance, — Lord Salisbury, with his 
leonine head, his bowed shoulders, his great girth, his almost 
elephantine trot ; Mr. Balfour, with rather small head, 
unchubby cheeks, maypole-like figure, long, swinging stride. 




SUBSTANCE AND SHADOW. 



In the now little read if not quite forgotten New 
Timon Bulwer Lytton gave to the world a little more 
than fifty years ago, there is a passage descriptive of 
O'Connell which applies with graphic accuracy to the Premier 
of to-day : — 

But who, scarce less by every gazer eyed, 

Walks yonder, swinging with a stalwart stride ? 

With that vast bulk of chest and limb assign'd 

So oft to men who subjugate their kind ; 

So sturdy Cromwell push'd, broad-shoulder'd, on ; 

So burly Luther breasted Babylon ; 

So brawny Cleon bawl'd his Agora down ; 

And large-limb'd Mahmoud clutch'd a Prophet's crown ! 

This description being curiously applicable to Lord 
Salisbury, the uncle cannot be said to recall the personality 
of the nephew. It was simply in respect of the face that 



1 897 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



109 



.^.-s\, 



the R.A. made his allegation of strong personal resemblance, 
supporting it with a wealth of detail whose erudition I will 
not attempt to chronicle. 

Whatever may be the case as between uncle and nephew, 
there is no doubt that the personal resemblance among off- 
shoots of the Cecil family is remarkable. It cousins and 
does not occur in the case of Lord Cranborne, Brothers, 
who, whether in personal appearance, manner, or public 
speech, has no resemblance to his 
father or his cousins on the front 
bench of the House of Commons. 
But Lord Hugh Cecil is in some 
isolated respects exceedingly like his 
cousin Arthur. He has many of the 
inflections of his voice. His phras- 
ing and his general style of speech- 
making, even to the extent of occasional 
hesitation for the proper word, and the 
certainty of finding it, recall Mr. Arthur 
Balfour's earliest House of Commons 
efforts whilst he was yet attached to 
the flank of the Fourth Party. To see 
Lord Hugh crossing the lobby of the 
House of Commons, or walking along 
the street, is to have instantly recalled 
his most famous cousin. A back view of 
his figure startlingly resembles the First 
Lord of the Treasury, the illusion being 
completed by his long, swinging stride. 

It is probable that, if Lord Hugh 
retains his health and strength, and spends his days and 
nights in the House of Commons, he will at no distant day 
complete the parallel by drawing near to the Parliamentary 
position of his illustrious kinsman. A man of wide culture, 
he has also strong convictions, which, whether right or 
wrong, are rare things much appreciated in the House of 
Commons. He has in him, moreover, the making of a 
polished and pungent debater. 




LORD HUGH CECIL. 



no LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1S97 

In the case of Mr. Arthur Balfour and the Chief 
Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, family resemblance is in 
one particular development carried to an embarrassing 
perfection. Mr. Gerald Balfour's voice and inflection of 
speech are so identical with those of his brother that, 
entering the House when one or other is on his legs, one 
has to look towards the Treasury Bench to see who is " up " 
before deciding the question that presents itself when the 
voice first strikes on the ear. 



SESSION 1898 
CHAPTER X 

FEBRUARY 

In the leisure of country-house life, and the confidence of the 
smoking-room, I have enjoyed opportunity of learning the 
views of a high authority on the delicate question Possible 
of proximate Premiers on either side. If I were Premiers. 
permitted to name the oracle, his expressed views would gain 
alike in personal interest and in weight. That privilege is 
withheld ; but I am at liberty to record the dicta, which, 
though not professing to be a verbatim report of intermittent 
conversation carried over some period, may be accepted as 
an accurate record, since it has been seen in proof by the 
statesman to whom I am indebted for permission to publish 
the review of the situation as it stands at the opening of a 
new Session. 

" Harcourt will never be Premier," said my friend, " and, 
though not personally enamoured of his company, I pro- 
foundly regret it. It is an unexpected, un- sir wiiiiam 
deserved termination of a hard-working, brilliant, Harcourt. 
and, I believe, purely patriotic career. Harcourt has made 
great sacrifices of ease, time, and money for the public 
service. As you know, when he decided upon a political 
career he deliberately sacrificed a large and increasing income 
at the Parliamentary Bar. What he has since received in 
the way of Ministerial salary is probably not equal to six- 

III 



I 12 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



pence in the pound on what he would have netted had he 

stuck to his work in the Com- 
mittee-rooms upstairs. As far 
as Ministerial life is concerned, 
ill-luck pursued him from the 
beginning. Scarcely had he, 
running in double harness with 
Henry James, worried Gladstone 
into making him, conjointly with 
his comrade, a Law Officer of 
the Crown, than the Liberals 
were swept out of Downing 
Street, and remained in the 
wilderness for six years. 

"When in 1893 Mr. G.'s 
hint at desire to resign the Pre- 
miership was somewhat hurriedly 
snapped at by his stricken col- 
leagues in the Cabinet, Harcourt 
had good reason to expect that 
the reversal of the office would 
fall to him. Perhaps it would, 
had not his temper been rather 

"A TOWERING IMPATIENCE. 

Plantagenet than Archi- 
episcopal. He has a tower- 
ing impatience of anything 
approaching — I don't say 
stupidity, but — mental 
slowness. At heart he is 
one of the kindest men in 
the world. But he has a 
way of sitting upon people, 
and, his weight being ele- 
phantine, the experience of 
the sufferer is neither forgettable nor forgivable. The story 





7^7 

ONE OF THE KINDEST OF MEN." 




"A WAY OF SITTING UPON PEOPLE." 



H3 



i898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 115 

goes that in January 1893 his colleagues in Mr. Gladstone's 
Cabinet with one accord began to make excuse from serving 
under him as Premier. I don't know whether that's true. 
But I can testify that, very early in the run of the Rosebery 
Cabinet, there were persistent rumours of Harcourt's approach- 
ing resignation. I took the liberty of asking one of the least 
excitable of his colleagues whether there was any foundation 
for the report. ' I don't know what Harcourt is going to do,' 
he said, * but I'll tell you what. As things are going now, if 
he doesn't resign soon, we shall.' 

" There was evidently a tiff on at the time, which blew 
over, and they all lived happily after up to the unexpected 
and, in ordinary circumstances, inadequate cordite explosion. 

" Mr. G.'s resignation naturally opened up a prospect of 
Harcourt's advancement to the vacant post. By common 
consent he had earned the preferment. There was no one 
on the Treasury Bench of the House of Commons who 
might reasonably compete with him. That he should have 
been passed over in favour of a colleague of less than half 
his term of service, one who more than a dozen years earlier 
had actually served as his junior at the Home Office, was 
sufficient to disturb a temperament more equable than that 
of the Lord of Malwood. The late-comers to the toil of the 
vineyard, paid on equal terms with those who had laboured 
from break of day, were in quite ordinary case compared 
with Lord Rosebery exalted to the Premiership over the head 
of Sir William Harcourt. But things were so ordained, and 
if, whilst acquiescing in the arrangement, Harcourt did not 
enthusiastically contribute to its success, it must be remem- 
bered that, after all, he too is human. 

" The bitterness of the case is intensified by conscious- 
ness of irrevocable disappointment. It was then or never. 
It was not then. If he were ten years younger the prospects 
would be different. The success of leaving him to play 
second fiddle was not so conducive to harmony as to recom- 
mend renewal of the experiment. The present Government 
will unquestionably live into the next century. In the year 
1900 Harcourt will be seventy-three. That, of course, is 



ii6 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



not an impossible age for a Premier. When in August 
1892, Mr. Gladstone for the fourth time became Prime 
Minister, he was nearly ten years older. Palmerston did not 
reach the Premiership till he was in his seventy-first year, 
and returned to the office when he was seventy-five. Earl 
Russell was for a few months First Lord of the Treasury at 
seventy-three. These were exceptional cases, and at best 
do not supply precedent for a statesman in his seventy-third 
year for the first time succeeding to the Premiership. What 
has not been found convenable in past history will not grow 
more likely of acceptance in the more strenuous political 
times of the twentieth century. What Mr. G. is accustomed 
to call the incurable disease of old age will bar Sir William 

Harcourt's enjoyment of 



a justly-earned prize. 

" Lord Rosebery is 
still in the running, but 
is handi- L„,d 

capped by Rosebery. 

a disqualification that, 
when the time of trial 
comes, will probably 
prove as fatal as that 
which, with quite differ- 
ent bearing, hampers 
his esteemed friend and 
former colleague. Dur- 
ing his brief tenure of 
No. 10 Downing Street, 
Rosebery left nothing to 
be desired from a Prime 
Minister — nothing save 
peace and harmony in 
the Cabinet. In the con- 
current office of Leader 

"A PRISONER IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS." °^ ^"^ HOUSe Ot LordS 

he was without a rival, 
a foeman worthy of the sword of the veteran Leader of the 




1898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 117 

Opposition. Regarded as a public speaker, he was as 
effective on the platform as in his place in Parliament. In 
brief, he has but one disqualification for the high position to 
which he was called. He is a peer. Even with the 
Conservatives, of whose party the House of Lords is a 
rampart, the inconvenience of having the Premier outside 
the House of Commons is acutely felt. With Liberals such 
an arrangement is a contradiction of first principles. 

" That the disqualification should have been overlooked 
in the case of Lord Rosebery is the supremest recognition of 
his high capacity and his peculiar fitness for the post. But 
it is not an experiment that can be tried again. The Liberals 
can come back to power only as the result of deep stirring 
of the popular mind such as Mr. G. accomplished on the eve 
of the General Election of 1880. The militant section of 
the Liberal electorate, the men who move the army, have dis- 
tinctly made up their minds that they will not have a peer for 
Premier, even though his lordship be so sound and thorough- 
going a Liberal as is the Earl of Rosebery. The Liberal 
Party, closing up its ranks for a pitched battle, cannot 
afford to march into the lists with avoidable cause of 
dissension riving its ranks. If Lord Rosebery were plain 
Archibald Primrose he would as surely be Prime Minister in 
the next Liberal Government as it is certain that the whirli- 
gig of time will bring its revenges at the poll to the Liberal 
Party. The Earl of Rosebery is impossible. 

" Rosebery's personal testimony on this point is interesting 
and conclusive. It will be found in his monograph on Pitt, 
where, dwelling on the difficulty that surrounds the accident 
of the Prime Minister being seated in the House of Lords, 
he writes : ' It would be too much to maintain that all the 
members of a Cabinet should feel an implicit confidence in 
each other ; humanity — least of all, political humanity — 
could not stand so severe a test. But between a Prime 
Minister in the House of Lords and the Leader of the House 
of Commons such a confidence is indispensable. Responsi- 
bility rests so largely with the one, and articulation so greatly 
with the other, that unity of sentiment is the one necessary 



ii8 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



link that makes the relation, in any case difficult, in any way 
possible. The voice of Jacob and the hands of Esau may 
effect a successful imposture, but can hardly constitute a 
durable administration.' 

" Apart from Sir William Harcourt and Lord Rosebery, 

the Front Opposition Bench is not lacking in men who 

would make passable Premiers, Campbell- 

campbeiu Banncrmau, for example, would be a model 

Bannerman. l^^j^j. ^f t^g House of Commons, and a safe 

Prime Minister. That he should not have come more rapidly 

and more prominently to the front is one 
of the unexpected turns of political life. 
The main reason is, I believe, that, un- 
influenced by a well-known example in 
other quarters, he lets things slide. 
Stafford Northcote, harried by Randolph 
Churchill, once pathetically confessed 
that he was ' lacking in go.' Campbell- 
Bannerman is wanting in push. Some 
one has truly said that if he had been 
born to a patrimony not exceeding ,^300 
a year, he would long ago have been 
Leader of the House of Commons. A 
naturally indolent disposition completes 
the swamping influence of excessive 
wealth. 

" Oddly enough, the only occasion 
since middle age when he felt the blessed 
' influence of personal ambition, and really 
strived to get himself a place, was when 
Arthur Peel retired from the Speaker's 
Chair. Strange as it may seem, Campbell -Bannerman 
really, almost fervidly, desired to be Speaker. One of 
the reasons confided to me was quaint. He has a horror 
of recessional speech- making. When he gets a holiday 
he likes to have it all the way through. The Speaker 
is not expected to conciliate his constituents by making 
speeches in the recess, and Campbell -Bannerman looked 




SIR H. CAMPBELL- 
BANNERMAN. 



1898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 119 

with large desire on an unruffled holiday from the date 

of the Prorogation to the opening of the new Session. He 

would have made a Speaker as good as the best of them. 

He has the judicial mind, the equable manner, the intellectual 

alertness, the wide political and Parliamentary knowledge 

indispensable to success in the Chair. He is, moreover, 

master of that pawky humour grateful to the House of 

Commons, especially when it edges the sable mantle of the 

majesty of the Chair. His willingness to accept the office 

relieved the Government and the House from an awkward 

position. Whilst ready to fight any one else, the Unionists 

would have accepted Campbell - Bannerman. It was 

Harcourt who upset the coach. He raised constitutional 

objections to a Minister stepping out of the Cabinet into the 

Speaker's Chair. I believe he even threatened resignation 

if Campbell-Bannerman insisted upon pressing claims to the 

Speakership. His colleagues in the Cabinet, appalled by 

such a prospect, desisted from urging the candidature, 

and Campbell-Bannerman, possibly not without grateful 

consciousness of having narrowly escaped a burdensome 

responsibility, acquiesced. 

" Sir Henry Fowler is another thoroughly safe man, 
perhaps a little too safe to aspire to satisfy the popular idea 
of a Prime Minister. He is more akin to the 

r i T 1 T^- 1 1 111 Sir H. Fowler. 

type 01 the present Lord Kimberley, and the late 
Lord Iddesleigh, than to that either of Mr. Disraeli or Mr. 
Gladstone. Yet few men of less than twenty years' standing 
in the House of Commons have made such steady advance 
in their political career as has the ex-Mayor of Wolverhampton. 
Whatever he has been appointed to do, he has done well. 
Sometimes, notably in his speech on Henry James's motion 
raising the question of the Indian Cotton Duties, he has 
revealed to the House unsuspected depths of statesmanship 
and debating power. His conduct of the Parish Councils 
Bill was a masterpiece of adroit Parliamentary management. 
As an all-round Minister, a dependable man, he has no 
superior on either Front Bench. I am not sure that that is 
the type in which successful Prime Ministers are cast. It 



I20 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



might possibly be better for the country if such were the 
case. But I am dealing with matters as we find them. 

" Assuming, of course, that they live and work, I think 
you will find a future — I do not say absolutely the next — 
Liberal Prime Minister in one of two of Sir 
wo. -y^jjjjgj^ Harcourt's colleagues on the Front 
Opposition Bench. If you ask Asquith which of the two 
will come out first in the running, he will have no difficulty 
in deciding. He is not a man who wears his heart upon his 
sleeve, nor is he given to vain boasting. 
Yet eight years ago, whilst he could not be 
said as yet to have made his mark upon the 
House of Commons, I heard him, at a friend's 
dinner table, quietly announce that he 
intended some day to be Prime Minister. 
The third party to the conversation was 
l^ord Randolph Churchill, who afterwards 
agreed with me [that the aspiration, bold as 
it seemed at that time, was by no means 
improbable of fulfilment. 

" What Asquith lacks for the rapid 
achievement of his settled plan is more 
blood. Iron he has in plenty, 
and of excellent quality. He is 
failing in that sympathetic touch with the 
multitude which was one of the chief and 
)it^/ abiding causes of Mr. G.'s supreme power. 
Asquith addressing a mass of humanity, 
MR. ASQui . .^hether in the House of Commons or from 
a public platform, can bring conviction to the mind. He 
cannot touch the passions. His hard, somewhat gauche 
manner is, I believe, due rather to shyness than to self- 
assertion. That is a hopeful diagnosis, for it implies the 
possibility of his sometime letting himself go, with results 
that will astonish his audience and himself At present he 
is too cold-blooded, too canny, to capture the populace. 

" It was characteristic of him that, on losing his position 
as Cabinet Minister and Secretary of State for the Home 




Mr. Asquith. 



1898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 121 

Department, he should have gone back to the drudgery of 
the Bar, to plead before judges whose decisions in matters 
of life and death he but the day before was empowered to 
override. The decision was, in some aspects, creditable to 
him. To an able-bodied, high-spirited man nothing can be 
more distasteful than the lot of living upon a wife's dowry. 
Asquith would have done well if he had found any other 
means of satisfying his honourable instincts. In political 
life, when running for the highest prizes, the axiom that no 
man can serve two masters is pitilessly true. Even to attain 
ordinary success in the House of Commons a man must 
spend his days and nights in the Chamber. Apart from 
the conflict of interests and the imperativeness of diverse 
calls, there is one inexorable matter of fact that makes it 
impossible for a Leader at the Bar to concurrently fill the 
place of a Leader in the House of Commons. The House 
now meets at three o'clock. Public business commences 
half an hour later, and it frequently happens that the portion 
of the sitting allotted to questioning Ministers is the most 
important of the whole. A member absent through the 
question hour cannot possibly be in close touch with the 
business of the day. This is more imperatively true in 
times of storm and stress. It is obvious that, as the Courts 
of Law do not usually rise before five o'clock, a member of 
the House of Commons in close attendance on his private 
business at the Bar cannot be in his place at Westminster 
during the lively, often critical, episode of questions. 

" Knowledge of this detail will help to explain the con- 
viction borne in upon old Parliamentary hands that, in return- 
ing to his work at the Bar, Asquith seriously handicapped 
himself in the race for the Premiership. 

" Asquith's only rival in sight among the younger men 
in the Liberal camp is the grand-nephew of the great Earl 
Grey. I have heard Mr. G. say Edward Grey sir Edward 
is the only man he knew in the long course of ^''^y* 
his experience who might be anything he pleased in political 
life and seemed content to be hardly anything. The public 
know little of the young member for Berwick -on -Tweed. 



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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



The present House of Commons knows little more, and was, 

perhaps, not deeply impressed by the rare opportunity of 

forming a judgment supplied 
towards the close of last Session, 

" It is Gladstone and other 
Nestors of the Party whose pro- 
found belief in the young man 
fixes attention upon him. Here, 
even more hopelessly than in the 
case of Campbell-Bannerman, the 
potentialities of a possibly great 
career are influenced by total 
absence of pushfulness. Edward 
Grey does not want anything but 
to be left alone, supplied with 
good tackle, and favoured by fine 
weather for fishing. He would 
rather catch a twenty - pound 
salmon in the Tweed than hook a 
fat seal of office in the neighbour- 
hood of Downing Street. But he 
is only thirty-five, just ten years 

younger than Asquith, and no one can say what chances 

and changes the new century may bring." 

It will be perceived that, enjoying the irresponsibility 

of the pen that merely transcribes obiter dicta, I have not 

attempted to blunt any of their frankness. 




SIR EDWARD GREY. 



The House of Commons was distinctly poorer when on 
the eve of the General Election of 1895 Sir Isaac Holden 

Sir Isaac rcsolvcd not to offcr himself for re-election. 

Holden. During the recess the world became poorer by 
his death. He was in various ways a type of the best class 
of Englishman. His father was a Cumberland man ; he was 
born in Scotland ; he lived and worked in Yorkshire, More 
than thirty years ago, having accumulated a vast fortune, he 
bent his thoughts on Westminster. He was elected for 
Knaresborough towards the close of the Session of 1865, 



1898 



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123 



and represented that borough till the General Election of 

1868. At the dissolution he flew at higher game, fighting 

the Eastern Division of the West 

Riding. But even the high tide that 

carried Mr. Gladstone into power in 

1868 could not establish a Liberal in 

that Tory stronghold. 

Four years later Isaac Holden 
tried the Northern Division of the 
West Riding with similar ill-fortune. 
At the General Election of 1874 he 
attacked the Eastern Division again, 
and was again beaten. But he was 
not the kind of man to accept defeat, 
whether in dealing with wool-combing 
machinery or politics. In 1882 he 
made a dash at the North - West 
Riding and carried it. At the time 
of his retirement from Parliamentary 
life he was seated for the Keighley 
Division of the same Riding. 

I do not remember hearing Sir 
Isaac speak during the thirteen years I knew him in the 
House of Commons. But he was an assiduous no talker but 
attendant upon his Parliamentary duties. Through ^ walker, 
the turbulent times which saw Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule 
Bill carried through the House of Commons, there was 
none among the meagre majority of forty upon whom the 
Ministerialist whip counted with more certainty than the 
octogenarian member for Keighley Division. One night 
when the Bill was being forced through Committee by the 
automatic action of the closure, Sir Isaac took part in every 
one of ten divisions the Unionists insisted upon walking 
through. So high did party feeling run at the moment, that 
Mr. Villiers came down to the House and voted in the first 
two rounds taken immediately after ten o'clock, when the 
closure came into operation. After that, he reasonably 
thought he had done enough to save his country, and went 




SIR ISAAC HOLDEN. 



124 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

off home. But though Ninety judiciously retired, two 
members of more than Eighty stopped to the last, going 
round and round the lobbies for two hours on a sultry 
night. One was Mr. Gladstone, then approaching his 
eighty-fifth year. The other was Isaac Holden, two years 
the senior of the Premier. 

Meeting Sir Isaac after one of the divisions, I asked him 
if he did not think he would be better in bed. 

" Not at all," he said, with his bright smile. " You know, 
I always walk a couple of miles every night before I go to 
bed. I have stepped the division lobbies, and find that the 
length traversed is as nearly as possible 200 yards. You 
see, if they give us nine divisions, I shall have done a trifle 
over a mile, and will have so much less to walk on my wa}"^ 
home." 

As it turned out, ten divisions were taken at this 
particular sitting, those two young fellows, Mr. Gladstone 
and Isaac Holden, walking briskly through each one. When 
it was over. Sir Isaac went out to complete his two miles, 
taking Birdcage Walk on his way to his rooms in Queen 
Anne's Mansions. 

Much has been said and written about his peculiar 
dieting. He certainly was most methodical. An orange, a 
The Secret of baked apple, a biscuit made from bananas, and 
Long Life, twenty grapes — neither more nor less — made up 
his breakfast. He dined lightly in the middle of the day, 
and supped in the bounteous fashion of his breakfast. No 
whim of this kind was ever more fully justified. Almost up 
to the last Sir Isaac walked with rapid step, his back as 
straight as a dart, his eyes retaining their freshness, his 
cheek its bloom. It was his pride that he had grapes 
growing all through the year in his vinery at Oakworth 
House, near Bradford. During his stay in London he had 
the fruit sent up every day. When, some years ago, I 
visited him at Oakworth, he was at the time of my arrival 
out walking on the moor. Coming in, having done his then 
accustomed seven miles' spin, he insisted upon straightway 
escorting his guest all over the spacious winter garden. One 



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125 



<^^ 



of his panaceas for lengthening your days was to live in an 
equable temperature. Sixty degrees was, he concluded, the 
right thing, and as he walked about bareheaded he begged 
me to observe how equable the temperature was. It may 
have been, but it was decidedly chilly. As he wore no hat 
I could not keep mine on, and caught a cold that lingered 
till I left Yorkshire. 

Another time, he and I, being neighbours in London, 
driving home from the house of a mutual friend where we 
had foregathered at dinner, he stopped the carriage at the 
top of St. James's Street and got out to walk the rest of the 
way home. It was raining in torrents, but that did not 
matter. He had not, up to this time, completed his regula- 
tion walk, and it must be done before he went to bed. 

Thus day by day he wound himself up with patient 
regularity, living a pure and beauti- 
ful life, dying with all that should 
accompany old age, as honour, love, 
obedience, troops of friends. If he 
suffered any disappointment in his 
closing hours, it would be because 
Death came to him at the compara- 
tively early age of ninety-one. 
One day he told me in the most 
matter-of-fact manner that, given an 
ordinary good constitution at birth, 
there was no reason in the world 
why a man should not live to 
celebrate his hundredth birthday. 

At Folkestone the other day, I 
came across a tradition of the time 
"The Noble when Baron de Worms, 
Baron." then a member of the 
House of Commons, was an occa- 
sional resident on the Leas. Com- 
bining business with pleasure, he, on one occasion, took part 
in a political meeting in anticipation of the General Election 




v'-^ 



A BARON OF HIGH DEGREE. 



126 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

of 1892, which meant so much to him and to others. "The 
noble baron," as the late Sir Robert Peel, in a flash of that 
boisterous humour that delighted the House of Commons, 
once called the member for the East Toxteth Division of 
Liverpool, desirous of casting a glamour of ancient nobility 
over the cause of the friend it was his object to serve, dwelt 
with pardonable pride on his own lineage. 

" My brothers are barons," he said ; " my great grand- 
father was a baron ; my grandfather was baron ; my father 
was baron." 

" Pity your mother wasn't," cried a voice from the crowd. 



CHAPTER XI 



MARCH 



Last month I was privileged to be the confidant of the 
opinion of an eminent publicist on the chances and proba- 
bilities of the next Liberal Premier. The con- ^^^resmok- 
versation, or, to be more precise, the monologue, ing=room 
later extended to the Conservative field. Here, 
as before, my part is absolutely confined to the humble duty 
of recorder. I can only repeat that if I were at liberty to 
mention the name of the authority for these obiter dicta 
they would gain alike in personal interest and in political 
importance. 

" The question of who is to be the next Conservative 
Premier is one," my Mentor said, " more likely to present 
itself on an early day than is the other we have been talking 
about. Lord Salisbury is not of a resigning disposition. 
' I will never,' he has wittily said, ' consent to be in politics 
the Dowager Lord Salisbury.' He is a man of indomitable 
pluck, with a high sense of his duty to his country, and an 
honest conviction that it is most completely performed when 
Robert Cecil has his hand on the helm of State. But no one 
who watched him in the House of Lords last Session, or who 
has had personal dealings with him during the past six 
months, can fail to perceive that the state of his health 
leaves much to the desire of his many friends and innumerable 
admirers. At best he is not likely to form a Fourth 
Administration. Inevitably within a year or two the Conser- 

127 



128 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



vative Party will be face to face with the necessity of electing 

a new Leader. 

" I fancy when Goschen finally made up his mind to cross 

the Rubicon, on the marge of which he had long dallied, 
he was not free from expectation that some day 
he might be called upon to lead the Tory Party. 

When he went over, Arthur Balfour was untried ; Plartington 



Mr. Goschen. 




THE UNEXPECTED FOOTPRINT. 



had declared against fusion of the two elements of the 
Unionist Party ; whilst Chamberlain was yearning after what 
he called a Nationalist Party, presumably made up of Jesse 
Collingses and Powell Williamses. It was quite on the cards 
when Goschen delivered the Conservatives from the dilemma 



1898 



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129 



in which Randolph Churchill's defection left them that events 
might so shape themselves as to bring him to the Leadership 
of the House of Commons. Events took other shapes, 
notably in the development of Arthur Balfour into a first-class 
Leader. Hence Goschen's opportunity has finally eluded 
his grasp. So far from leading the party, it is doubtful 
whether the inexorable age-limit will not preclude his inclusion 
in the next Conservative Ministry, whenever, by whomsoever, 
it is formed. No one recognises that fact more clearly than 
does the present First Lord of the Admiralty, and none will 
accept the situation with greater dignity. 

" Failing Arthur Balfour, the man on the Treasury Bench 
whom the Conservative Party of all sections would hail with 
acclamation as Leader is Hicks-Beach. In matters sir Michael 
of fact, especially of finance, he is more reliable Hicks-Beach. 
than his more brilliant colleague, the First Lord of the 
Treasury. Against the ultimate 
supremacy of Chamberlain he offers 
a barrier which good Conservatives 
fondly contemplate. ' If,' they say 
to each other, 'anything were to 
happen to Arthur Balfour, Joe 
would be inevitable save for Hicks- 
Beach.' 

" That is a fresh bond between 
this upright, stiff- backed, uncom- r'^^^^'^ 
promising Conservative country 
gentleman and the party whose best 
instincts and habits he worthily 
represents. 

" It is too soon to speak of 
George Curzon. But if there did 

not hang over him the extinguisher of a coronet, I should 
confidently look for him seated in due time in 
the place of the Leader of the House of 
Commons, with the Premiei'ship to follow. He holds on the 
Treasury Bench a position closely analogous to that of 
Edward Grey in the Opposition camp. Young, of good 

K 




UPRIGHT AND STIFF-BACKED. 



Mr. Curzon. 



I30 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

birth, impelled by Parliamentary instincts, a clear thinker, a 
forcible speaker, he has the advantage over his predecessor 
at the Foreign Office that he means to get to the top of the 
Parliamentary ladder. It is the fashion among some people 
to sneer at his superior manner and alleged affectation of 
speech. These superficial judges regard him as a sort of 
Parliamentary dandy. Wherein they are mightily mistaken. 
George Curzon is not physically a strong man, though hard 
work happily agrees with him, and since he went to the 
Foreign Office his health has been better than at any time 
since he left Oxford. But confronted with what he regarded 
as the duty of mastering the Eastern Question, he set out on 
an arduous journey, visiting Persia, Siam, Central Asia, Indo- 
China, and the Corea, scaling the Pamirs, making a morning 
call on the Ameer at a time when Cabul was in unrest, and 
the Khyber Pass promised to renew its old character as a 
death-trap for adventurous Englishmen. 

" A man that goes to work in this fashion is the kind out 
of which able Ministers are made. Met in a drawing-room 
or seen lolling on the Treasury Bench, George Curzon looks a 
lath. He is really a blade of tempered steel, and will go far.^ 
The pity of it is that his father is a peer, and he the eldest son. 

" These reflections deal with contingencies at present 

remote. The actual competition for the Leadership of the 

.. „ .r Constitutional Party lies between the nephew of 

Mr. Balfour ■' ^ 

and Mr. the Marquis of Salisbury and the ex-Mayor of 
amerain. ^^^^ Radical Birmingham, the Jack Cade of 
Stafford Northcote's startled fancy, the politician who in 1885 
affrighted staid Liberals with his unauthorised programme. 

"The surprise of such a position of affairs is so dazzling 
in the case of Mr. Chamberlain as to obscure all lesser lights. 
Nevertheless, Mr. Arthur Balfour's contribution is part of the 
romance of political life. There were none even among the 
far-seeing who, sixteen or even a dozen years ago, ventured 
to predict the Arthur Balfour of to-day. The Leader of 
the present House of Commons has been a member for 

1 Since tliis was written he has proved himself one of the most successful Viceroys 
known to the history of India. 



1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



131 



nearly a quarter of a century, and though perennially young, 
may commence to reckon himself among the old stagers. 
In his first Parliament, from 1874 to 1880, so far from 
having made a mark, he passed absolutely unrecognised. 




C_fc 
THE RACE FOR THE LEADERSHIP. 

Very early in the next Parliament, incited by the vitality 
of Lord Randolph Churchill and his colleagues of the Fourth 
Party, the young member for Hertford began to come to 
the front." 

[The first note made of his appearance by a long-time 
student of Parliamentary men and manner bears date 
August 20, 1880. As it was placed on public record at 
the time, I may quote it here without risk of accusation of 
being wise after the event. " The member for Hertford," it 
was then written in the Diary of the Gladstone Parliament, 
" is one of the most interesting young men in the House. 
He is not a good speaker, but he is endowed with the rich 
gift of conveying the impression that presently he will be 
a successful Parliamentary debater, and that in the mean- 
time it is well he should practise. He is a pleasing specimen 
of the highest form of the culture and good breeding which 



132 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

stand to the credit of Cambridge University. He is not 
without desire to say hard things of the adversary opposite, 
and sometimes yields to the temptation. But it is ever 
done with such sweet and gentle grace, and is smoothed 
over by such earnest protestation of innocent intention, that 
the adversary rather likes it than otherwise."] 

" At the date of publication," said my Mentor, to whom 
I showed the note, " that would doubtless be regarded as a 
somewhat exaggerated estimate of Balfour's position and 
potentiality. He was, in truth, then looked upon as a sort 
of fragile ornamentation of the hard-headed, hard-working 
Fourth Party. They suffered him, liked him, but could very 
well do without him. In his first Ministerial office as Secre- 
tary for Scotland, Balfour did not stir the pulses of the 
House. His chance came when illness drove Hicks-Beach 
from the Irish Office, and a belated Premier was peremptorily 
called upon to find a successor. PVom the very first, Arthur 
Balfour set his back against the wall and let it be seen that 
if the Irish members wanted fight, here was a man who 
would give them plenty. From the time he went to the 
Irish Office up to the present day, he has, with occasional 
temporary lapses due to physical lassitude and exhausted 
patience, steadily pressed forward. On the death of W. H. 
Smith he was the inevitable Leader of the House of 
Commons, and took his seat on the Treasury Bench, with 
Randolph Churchill finally out of the running, John Gorst in 
subordinate office under him, Drummond Wolff comfortably 
shelved in Ambassadorial quarters. Thus shall the last be 
first, and the first last. 

" Arthur Balfour is, as he deserves to be, popular with 

the Conservative Party. I should say his personal popularity 

Mr. Chamber- cxcecds that of any of his colleagues, not except- 

lain. ing the Prime Minister. Lord Salisbury is 
highly esteemed in the City of London, now, as Goschen 
must sometimes reflect with surprise, the beating heart of 
British Toryism. I well remember a time when Arthur 
Balfour in his chivalrous manner made excuses for non- 
attendance at Lord Mayors' Banquets and the like, being 



1898 



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133 



painfully embarrassed by the exuberance of a reception 
which thrust his uncle for the time into the second place. 

" Of the many causes of his popularity with good Con- 
servatives this stands forth with supremest force : ' Arthur 
Balfour,' they say, 'keeps Joe out of the Leadership.' That, 
I fancy, is as near the 
exact truth as club 
axioms run. If Arthur 
Balfour were to-morrow 
to be removed from the 
House of Commons, 
Chamberlain would, 
within possibly a decent 
interval of twelve 
months of Hicks-Beach, 
be seated in the place 
of Disraeli and of Sir 
Robert Peel. For a 
long time after his 
secession from the 
Liberal camp I person- 
ally clung to the con- 
viction that, however 

far he might go in his opposition to Gladstone and to those 
who remained faithful to the old chief, he would never appear 
in public and in history as Leader of the Party of which 
he was up to January 1886 the most violent denouncer, the 
most relentless foe. I have to-day no particle of such faith. 
I do not believe Chamberlain's Radical instincts and convic- 
tions have faded by a shade. But I perceive he has convinced 
himself that they may, for all practical purposes, be just as 
well exploited from the Conservative camp as from the 
Liberal, The Conservative Party, scarcely yet recovered 
from the surprise of their majority, having passed the Work- 
men's Compensation Bill of last Session, and with other 
kindred memories crowding upon them, perceive that Cham- 
berlain is, as usual, pretty correct. Ever since he went over 
to help them they have feared him more than they have 




IN THE PLACE OF DISRAELI. 



134 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

loved him. They will not, save in extremis, accept him as 
Leader. Chamberlain, not unconscious of this prejudice, 
may console himself with reflection on the fact that, fifty 
years ago, analogous circumstances existed with at least 
equal bitterness to the detriment of Disraeli, who yet lived to 
become not only the Leader but the idol of the Tory Party. 
" Still, there is always Arthur Balfour, over whom no 
deadly peerage hangs, and who is twelve years younger than 
his esteemed friend and admired colleague, the Secretary of 
State for the Colonies." 

Although the Session is nearly a month old the House 
of Commons has not yet grown accustomed to the absence 

Frank °^ Frank Lockwood. His burly figure with its 
Lockwood. more than 6 ft. of height was not easy to miss 
in a crowd. Superadded were a sunny countenance and 
a breezy manner, that made their influence promptly felt. 

The position finally secured by Lockwood in Parlia- 
mentary debate disappointed some of his friends, who looked 
for fuller development of his great gifts. Lockwood himself 
felt somehow he ought to have done better. But the situa- 
tion did not affect his loyal esteem for the House of 
Commons, a feeling deepening almost to personal affection. 
He had good cause to be satisfied with his success at the 
Bar. He would have bartered a large slice of it for a 
stronger hold on the House of Commons. That he did not 
secure it was due to temperament rather than to lack of 
capacity. He was, up to the last, afraid of the House, a 
superstition that had to some extent the effect of paralysing 
his powers. If he could have flung himself into Parlia- 
mentary debate with the same abandon that he tackled a 
witness in court or addressed a common-law jury, he would 
have carried all before him at Westminster, as was his wont 
in the Courts of Justice. He was aware of this curious fail- 
ing, and strove to overcome it, with increased success, notably 
in his last Session. In a brief rejoinder or in a remark flung 
across the table in debate he equalled his own renown. 
When taking part in set debate, he felt it due to the House 



i898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT i 



JD 



of Commons to make elaborate preparation, and the more 
prolonged the labour the less striking was the measure of 
success. 

It is quite true, as was stated at the time of his death, 
that Frank Lockwood, regarding the world as his oyster, 
resolved to open it from the stage of the theatre. 

T->i 1 • nT T^ 1111 11- ^''s First Brief. 

Ihe lady who is now Mrs. Kendal helped him 
to engagement with a travelling company of players. His 
explanation of his reason for withdrawing from the alluring 
prospect of histrionic success was the chagrin that filled his 
breast on regarding the bills at the theatre door and on the 
walls of the towns the troupe visited. 

** There was," he said, in indignant tones, belied by the 
twinkle in his eye, " Miss This and Mr. That, in letters half 
a foot long, whilst my name was incidentally m.entioned in 
smallest type at the end of the list. When I looked at the 
bill I felt my vocation had nothing to do with the call-boy 
at the theatre." 

Mrs. Kendal did something better than help Lockwood 
on to the stage. She obtained for him his first brief, which 
at her personal entreaty was sent by Sir Albert Rollit, then 
in business as a solicitor at Hull. 

In the House of Commons, as at the Courts of Justice, 
Lockwood was as well known for his sketches as for his wise 
and witty sayings. His drawings lacked the 

. His Sketches. 

finish that made possible reproduction in pages 
of established artistic merit. But they were full of humour, 
with rare knack of hitting off the situation. The execution 
was remarkably swift. Many a time through the Session 
Lockwood came to me with suggestion of treatment of some 
episode adaptable for Punch. Having discussed the matter, 
he would withdraw to one of the writing-tables in the 
division lobby, returning in five or six minutes with a bright 
sketch. It was one of his most cherished ambitions to draw 
for Punch. His sketches were usually redrawn by a more 
practised hand. But the fun was all there in the hurried 
sketches on House of Commons note-paper, or waste places 
on briefs, of which hundreds are scattered about among the 



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1898 



possessions of his friends. The only fee Lockwood sought 
for his really valuable Punch work was that he should be 
placed on a footing of equality with the staff, and receive an 
early copy of the week's number. Of this privilege he was 
gleefully proud. 

His pen, travelling rapidly over the sheet, was wonderful 
at catching a likeness, with just sufficient caricature to make 







Cc^^ 



^nVtc^Z-*"*-!^ 



Cc/T.,^^^ 



SIR RICHARD WEBSTER LED CAPTIVE. 
From a Sketch by the late Sir Frank I.pck^vood. 

it more attractive for the friends of the model. His favourite 
subjects in the House of Commons were Sir Richard Webster 
and Sir Robert Reid, whose gravity of mien had irresistible 
fascination for him. 



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137 



At the time of the last visit to London of the Shah 
there was some talk of his authorising missionary enterprise 
in Persia. This suggested to Lockwood's vivid imagination 
a picture of Sir Richard Webster led captive by his business- 
like Majesty en foute for Teheran. 

Another pair of sketches commemorates a famous 
sentence in a speech by Mr. Robert Spencer, delivered in 
debate on a Bill affecting the agricultural labourer. In one 





Frortt a Sketch by the late 
Sir Frank Lockwood. 



ci*-^'. 



" BOBBY," AS HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN. 

From a Sketch by the late Sir Frank 
Lockwood. 



sketch we have " Bobby," as the sometime member for Mid- 
Northamptonshire was affectionately called, standing at the 
table of the House of Commons arrayed in the last resources 
of civilisation as provided in the tailor's shop, diffidently de- 
precating the possible assumption that he was an agricultural 
labourer. In the other we see him got up as he probably 
would have ordered matters had he been born to the estate 
of Hodge, instead of to that of the Spencer earldom. 



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1898 



In another sketch that bears no date, but evidently was 
circulated about the time of a Lobby incident, in which an 
Irish M.P. and a well-known artist in black-and-white 
figured, Lockwood illustrated the following extract from a 
leading article which appeared in the pages of the Daily 
Telegraph : — 

If one could imagine so untoward a proceeding as, say, Mr. 
Henry Lucy slapping the face of Mr. Frank Lockwood in the Lobby 
of the House of Commons, the issue would be very different. It 



>^'^'^-. 




From a Sketch cy the late Sir Frank Lockwood. 



would not be the insulted M.P. who would be ordered to move on, 
but the brawling journalist who would be removed. The gigantic 
personality of Mr. Inspector Horsley would intervene with neatness 
and dispatch. 

He sent the sketch to me with the injunction, " Brawler, 
Beware ! " 

In a letter dated from Lennox Gardens, 21st July 1894, 
he writes : — 



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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



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My dear Lucy — Don't you think that when Haldane and I 
spoke on Thursday night it was something Hke Preachers on pro- 
bation — the calm and philosophical and the fire and fury ? — Yours 
ever, 

Frank Lockwood. 

The note enclosed the two sketches next reproduced, 
illustrating the theme. As a portrait, Mr. Haldane's is not 





From a Sketch by the late Sir Frank 
Lockwood. 



Ju/J^^ 9^yd£^^^ty^^1i^**<^ 



From a Sketch by the late Sir Frank 
Lock-wood. 



so successful as some. But Lockwood's own is capital, and 
shows how freely he extended to himself that measure of 
humorous exaggeration he was accustomed to bestow upon 
others. 

The late Lord Chief Justice was another tempting 
subject. Lord Coleridge, dining one evening at Lennox 
Gardens, was much interested in the overflowing gallery of 
portraits of contemporaries at the Bar and on the Bench, 
drawn by this facile pen. " But, Mr. Lockwood," said Lord 
Coleridge, " you don't seem to have attempted me." " The 



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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



fact is," said Lockwood, relating the story, " I had come 
home early from the Courts, and spent an hour hiding away, 
in anticipation of his visit, innumerable portraits I had done 
of the Chief." 

His first important pictorial work is bound up in the 
volumes of evidence taken when he sat as Commissioner in 
an election inquiry heard at Chester nearly twenty years 
With the red and blue pencils supplied by a confiding 



ago. 



/.f.^^ ^/^ jL..^,.,.^ ^ ..^^.^^.^.^^^^^^e^-^^-^'-*^ 



_^^«^ 




From a Sketch by the late Sir Frank Lockwood. 

State, Lockwood illustrated the broad margins of the printed 
evidence with an illimitable procession of witnesses and 
scenes in court. As far as I know, that is the only case 
where he used other media than pen and ink for his sketches. 
For many years he superseded the ordinary Christmas card 
by sending to his friends a sketch drawn with his own hand. 
Here is a reproduction of the last one designed, in serene un- 
consciousness of the shadow hanging over the happy house- 
hold and the far-reaching circle of friends and acquaintances. 



1898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 141 

In conversation with his friends, Lockwood did not hide 
the desire of his heart. He wanted to be a judge. Although 
a diligent attendant at the House of Commons, ^j^ l^^^ 
and always ready to serve his party with a Aspiration, 
speech in the country, he was by no means a keen politician. 
When a man of his native ability becomes Solicitor-General, 
there is no reason why he should not look forward to steadily 
walking up the ladder till he reaches the Woolsack. Lock- 
wood would have been content at any time during the last 
two years of his life to step aside to the quiet dignity of the 
Bench. 

The estimation in which he was held in the House of 
Commons was testified to on the retirement of Mr. Peel 
from the Chair by his name being prominently mentioned in 
succession to the Speakership. He would have admirably 
filled the Chair, and was, I have reason to know, ready to 
take it had acceptance been pressed upon him. But the 
project blew over, and through a curious avenue of chances, 
his old friend, Mr. Gully, came to the opportunity, modestly 
accepted, splendidly utilised. 



CHAPTER XII 



APRIL 



The advancement of Lord Halsbury to the status of 
an Earl was succeeded by a rumour that the event was 

preliminary xheEariof 
to his retire- Haisbury. 
ment from the Woolsack. 
Up to the present time 
of writing no sign in 
that direction has been 
made, his lordship still 
lending the grace and 
dignity of his presence 
to the House of Lords. 
It cannot be said by the 
boldest flatterer that Sir 
Hardinge Giffard's ad- 
vancement to the Wool- 
sack was due entirely, or 
to any extent appreci- 
ably, to Parliamentary 
success whether in the 
Commons or in the 
Lords. The former was 
necessarily the stepping-stone to his high preferment. But he 
never made his mark in debate. It is therefore well to know, 
particularly pleasant to record, the opinion of those brought 

142 




THE EARL OF HALSBURY. 



1898 



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143 



in contact with him in his judicial capacity — that Lord 
Halsbury is supremely capable as a judge. 

The first time I was privileged to look upon the Lord 
Chancellor and hear him speak dates back some thirty years. 
At that time I was trying my 'prentice hand on „ „ ,. 
a country newspaper, and had been deputed to oiffard and 
report the proceedings taken before the Shrop- **^*''"*"' y^- 
shire magistrates against Governor Eyre, in the matter of 
what were known as the Jamaica massacres. Mr. Fitzjames 
Stephen, afterwards raised to the judicial Bench, prosecuted 
ex- Governor Eyre, who was defended by Mr. Giffard. The 
inquiry, upon which the eyes of the civilised world were fixed, 
took place in a little courtroom in the sleepy town of Market 
Drayton. The chairman of the Bench of magistrates was 
Sir Baldwin Leighton, for years member for South Shrop- 
shire, who has bequeathed to the present House the member 
for the Oswestry Division of the county. 

Mr, Giffard threw himself into the defence with an 
energy not to be accounted for by the fee 
marked on his brief The case was one 
in which political partisanship was deeply 
engaged, the Conservatives backing up 
Governor Eyre in his vindication of what 
in later times, in a nearer island, came to be 
known as Law and Order, whilst Liberals, 
especially the more advanced section, strenu- 
ously called for the Governor's conviction on 
a criminal charge. Mr. GiiTard, though 
preaching to the converted, addressed Sir 
Baldwin Leighton and his fellow-magistrates 
at merciless length. I remember how at one 
point, having pictured Governor Eyre pro- 
tecting the lives entrusted to him by the 
Queen from fiendish outrage, barbarity, and 
lust, the learned counsel passionately asked 
whether for doing that the Governor was 
to be persecuted to death. " Good God ! " he cried, " is this 
justice .'' " and answered his question by bursting into tears. 




IS THIS JUSTICE?" 



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1898 



It was a touching episode, a little marred by Sir 
Baldwin Leighton's nalvet^. Slowly recovering from the 
depth of his emotion, the learned counsel apologised for his 
weakness. 

" Oh, don't mention it," said Sir Baldwin ; " but will you 
be much longer ? Because, if you will, we had better go to 
lunch now." 

The ludicrousness of the contrast — a sturdy Queen's 
Counsel in tears, and a prim Chairman of Quarter Sessions 
thinking of his luncheon — spoiled the effect of an otherwise 
powerful passage. The remark was made with such chilling 
artlessness that Mr. Giffard, drying his eyes and resuming his 
natural voice, went out with the crowd to luncheon. 

Eleven years elapsed before I saw Hardinge Giffard 
again. It was in the spring of 1877, when the defender of 
A deadly Govcmor Eyre, having been made Solicitor- 
Dilemma. General in Mr. Disraeli's Government, came to 
be sworn in. He had a hard tussle before being privileged 
to cross the bar. For the preceding eighteen months he 

went about from 
place to place wher- 
ever vacancies oc- 
curred, looking for a 
seat. Defeated in 
succession at Cardiff, 
Launceston, and 
Horsham, a second 
vacancy occurring in 
the Cornish borough^ 
he stood again and 
got in by a small 
majority. 

Ill-luck pursued him over the threshold of the House. 
Arrived at the table, Sir Erskine May, then Clerk of the 
House, made the customary demand for the return to the 
writ. Sir Hardinge Giffard forthwith, amid a scene of 
uproarious merriment, proceeded to search for it. First of 
all he attacked his breast coat-pocket, which proved to be 




' THE LOST WRIT. 



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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



U5 



bulging with letters and documents of various kinds. These 
he spread on the table, littering it as if a mail-bag had 
accidentally burst on the premises. Not finding the return 
there, he dived into his coat-tail pockets on either side, the 
merriment of a crowded House rising at sight of his perturbed 
face and hurried gestures. The document was not to be 
found among the papers that filled his coat-tail pockets, in 
quantity excelled only by the stuffing at his breast. 

Having got to the end of the tether, the Solicitor-General 
stood helpless at the table, looking at the inexorable Clerk, 
who made no advance towards administering the oath pend- 
ing the production of the return to the writ. Sir William 
Dyke, Ministerial Whip, who had brought up the new 
member, struck by a happy thought, bolted down the floor 
of the House, and, reconnoitring the seat below the gallery 
the new member had occupied before being called to the 
table, found the missing document quietly reposing in the 
Solicitor-General's hat. He brought it up and, amid cheer- 
ing as wild as if he had won the Victoria Cross, the member 
for Launceston was sworn in. 



Politics apart, it is unquestionably pleasing to the public 

mind that Mr. Gladstone should close his long and illustrious 

_. „,.„. career a plain 

Sir William " 

Gladstone, citizen as he began 
it. To many " Mr. 
Disraeli " is a more illustrious 
style than is the " Earl of 
Beaconsfield." It seemed 
somehow natural that the 
author of Coningsby, and of 
that less - known but even 
more remarkable work, Early 
Letters to /us Sister, should, 
when opportunity presented 
itself, place a coronet on his own brow. Mr. Gladstone, 
following early exemplars, Mr. Canning and Sir Robert Peel, 
is content to be known amongst men by the simple name 




'PLACING A CORONET ON HIS BROW. 



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1898 




NOLO CORONARI 



of his fathers. Peel, it is true, had the title of a baronet, 
but that was not his fault or his seeking, being part of the 
family hereditaments. Mr. Gladstone's father also was a 
baronet, but the title descended over the younger son's head, 
and no accident marred the majestic simplicity of plain " Mr." 
Had he pleased, he might at any time during the past 
quarter of a century have taken rank as a peer. Happily, 

all his instincts and 
impulses have been 
opposed to submission 
to that form of medio- 
crity. But there is 
one rank and title, the 
supremest open to a 
commoner, which Mr. 
Gladstone mightaccept 
without derogation. 
The style of a Knight 
of the Garter would, as far as common speech and ordinary 
address are concerned, slightly vary the proud simplicity of 
the name he has borne since he went to the University. The 
Order is encumbered with surplusage in the way of foreign 
Royalty, but it is the highest guerdon of the class open to 
an Englishman, and has always been reckoned as a prize 
of distinguished political services. Of Knights of the Garter 
who have fought by the side of or in front of Mr. Gladstone 
during the last sixty years, mentioning them in the order 
of their investment, are Earl Spencer, Earl Cowper, the 
Duke of Richmond, Lord Ripon, Lord Salisbury, the Duke 
of Argyll, Lord Kimberley, the Duke of Rutland, Lord 
Cadogan, the Duke of Devonshire, Lord Rosebery, Lord 
Lansdowne, and the Earl of Derby. Of this list Mr. 
Gladstone has of his personal initiative made Knights of 
six. 

The noblest Knight of all is not named upon the roll. 
Granting the existence of a strong and widely-spread popular 
feeling of satisfaction that Mr. Gladstone, springing from the 
ranks of the people, has, like the Shunamite woman, been 



i898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 147 

content to dwell among them, I believe few events would 
cause such a thrill of national satisfaction as the announce- 
ment that, under gentle pressure from Lord Salisbury, Mr. 
Gladstone had accepted the Garter. 

Who will write the Life of Mr. Gladstone when the 
time comes for the stupendous task to be undertaken ? Mr. 
John Morley's name is sometimes mentioned in j^e Gladstone 
connection with the work. It seems too big a Memoirs, 
thing to be approached single-handed. Fairly to grapple 
with the task would require the combined effort of a 
syndicate of skilled writers. The amount of material is even 
greater than may be surmised from outside contemplation of 
Mr. Gladstone's long and always busy life. He has preserved 
for more than sixty years all papers and correspondence 
that might properly serve the purposes of a memoir. They 
are stored in a fire-proof room at Hawarden — in what precise 
order was indicated by an incident that happened a few 
years ago. Reference was made in Mr. Gladstone's pres- 
ence to an episode in the life of Cardinal Newman. He 
remembered that his old friend had, half a century earlier, 
written him a letter bearing on the very point. He under- 
took to find it, and did so, apparently without any trouble. 
It was dated 1843. 

Talking about the writing of memoirs, Mr. Gladstone 
once emphatically expressed to me the opinion that the 
publication of a memoir, to be a full success, should promptly 
follow on the death of the subject. He did not cite it, but 
there is a well-known instance in support of his argument. 
For more than half a century the world had to wait for 
publication of the correspondence of Talleyrand. When at 
length it came out it fell as flat as if the letter-writer had 
been a grocer at Autun or a tailor in Paris. 

It is now certain that Disraeli's Life, if ever published, 
will have to run the risk of failure by reason of delay. Lord 
Rowton will certainly never undertake accomplish- 

. r 1 iir i-i- • 1 t • r • 1 Mr. Disraeli. 

ment 01 the task left to his discretion by his friend 

and leader. No one else has access to the papers — and 

there are boxes full of them — without whose assistance it 



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would be impossible to accomplish the work. This is rather 
hard on the present generation, who must needs forego the 
pleasure of reading what should be one of the most fascinat- 
ing books of the century. 



On the death of Mr. Villiers, the Times made haste to 

proclaim Mr. W. B. Beach, member for the Andover Division 

..... r, ... . of Hants, successor to the honoured position of 

The Father of ' ^ , 

the House of Father of the House of Commons. That is a 

ommons. conclusion of the matter not likely to be accepted 

with unanimous consent. The Father of the House is, by 

a rare combination of claims. Sir John 
Mowbray, member for Oxford Uni- 
versity. Returned for Durham in 
1853, he has continuously sat in 
Parliament four years longer than Mr. 
Beach, who came in as member for 
North Hants in 1857. Sir John has 
sat in eleven Parliaments against Mr. 
Beach's ten. He has, in this com- 
parison, all to himself the honour of 
having been a Privy Councillor for 
forty years. He has held office under 
three Administrations, Lord Derby 
being his chief in 1858 and '6^, Mr. 
Disraeli in 1868. For twenty-four 
years he has acted as Chairman of the 
Committee on Standing Orders and 
of the Committee of Selection. That 
is a record unique in the present 
Parliament, and it has been carried 
through with steady acquisition of personal popularity 
almost as rare. 

It is presumable that the judgment of the Times has 
gone against Sir John Mowbray on the ground that he has 
not during his long membership represented the same 
constituency. Entering the House as member for Durham, 
he, in 1868, transferred his services to Alma Mater, a safe 




SIR JOHN MOWBRAY. 



1898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 149 

and honourable seat he retains to this day. It is quite true 
that Mr. Villiers and his predecessor, Mr. Talbot, uninter- 
ruptedly held their several seats at the time they came into 
succession to the Fathership. But I am not aware of any 
definite ruling on that point. If there were such Mr. Beach 
would be disqualified, for, coming into the House in 1857 as 
member for North Hants, he now sits, and has sat since 
1875, as member for the Andover Division of the county. 

Whilst nothing is said in the written or unwritten law 
about the Father of the House necessarily having sat 
uninterruptedly for the same constituency, it is pj.^gg 
required that he shall have continuously sat in Possibles, 
the House from the date at which his claim commences. It 
was this rule that placed Mr. Gladstone out of court. First 
elected for Newark in 1832, he would have taken precedence 
of Mr. Villiers in the honourable rank but for the hiatus of 
some eighteen months in his Parliamentary career which 
followed on his leaving Newark on the way to Oxford 
University. This gave Mr. Villiers his chance, though the 
date of his entering the House is three years later than that 
of Mr. Gladstone. 

In the present House, Sir John Mowbray is the only 
relic of the Parliament of 1852 the course of Time has left 
to Westminster. Recent deaths and retirements removed 
several well-known members who otherwise would, on the 
death of Mr. Villiers, have come in competition for the 
Fathership. Of these are Sir Charles Forster, Sir Rainald 
Knightly, Sir Hussey Vivian, and Mr. Whitbread, who all 
sat in the Parliament of 1852. 

One thinks with kindly recognition of what a pathetic 
figure-head of a Father Sir Charles Forster would have made, 
wandering about corridors and lobbies in search of the hat 
he, through a long and honourable career, persistently 
mislaid. 

To the full success of a Ministry a variety of quality in 
its constituent parts contributes. The more varied the basis 
the brighter the prospect of prosperity. In Her Majesty's 



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1898 



s^^*/ 



present Government not the least distinguished, or least 
,.r. * popular, Cabinet Minister is said to be gifted 

"Our Army r r » fc> 

swore terribly with an accomplishment that would have 
obtained for him brevet rank with our Army in 
Flanders. To look at him seated on the Treasury Bench, 
to hear him addressing the House, above all to watch him 
repairing to his parish church on peaceful Sabbath mornings, 
no one would suspect this particular accomplishment. I 
have no personal acquaintance with it, but I have heard 
the fact stated by so many intimates of the right hon. gentle- 
man, that I fear there is some foundation for the assertion. 

It certainly receives confirmation from the recent 
experience of a member of the Ministerial rank-and-file. A 
short time ago there was some ruffle of discontent in the 
well-drilled ranks immediately behind the Treasury Bench. 
This esteemed member, an eminent solicitor, a severe church- 
goer, who is accustomed to fancy himself in debate, and to 

estimate at its proper value the 
position of a member representing 
a populous centre of industry, 
volunteered to bring the matter 
personally under the notice of 
the Cabinet. The particular 
member of that august body 
selected for the confidence was 
the right honourable gentleman 
whose name wild horses will not 
drag from me. It was agreed 
that, whilst the Minister should 
not be troubled with the attend- 
ance of a deputation, half-a-dozen 
of the malcontents should accom- 
pany their spokesman to the door 
of his private room, remaining in 
the corridor whilst the interview 
took place. 
The spokesman bravely marched into the room, pride in 
his port, his attitude being perhaps generously tempered by 




"AFTER THE INTERVIEW. 



i898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 151 

consideration of the pain he was about to give an esteemed 
Leader. His fellow-conspirators began to stroll up and 
down the lobby expectant of having to wait some time 
whilst the matter at issue was being discussed between their 
spokesman and the Minister. In a surprisingly short time 
their representative issued from the Minister's door with a 
scared look on his expressive visage. 

" Well ? " said the deputation, eagerly. 

" Well," replied the spokesman, with a pathetic break in 
his voice. " I don't think I've been very well treated by 
either side since I entered the House of Commons. But I 
was never before called a d — d canting attorney." 

In addition to Mr. Villiers', another familiar face vanished 
during the recess from House and Lobby is that of Osborne 
Morgan. Returned for Denbighshire at the osborne 
historic General Election of 1868, he had come Morgan, 
to rank amongst the oldest members. Only a year ago he 
sent me a list of members sitting in the present House of 
Commons who also had seats in the House that disestablished 
the Irish Church and brought in the first Irish Land Bill. 
I forget the precise number, but it was startlingly small. 

Like Sir Frank Lockwood, but for other reasons, 
Osborne Morgan did not fulfil expectation reasonably 
entertained of his Parliamentary success. Early in the fifties 
he went to the Bar, having gained a brilliant reputation and 
several scholarships at his University. Like Mr. Gladstone, 
he to the last, amid whatever pressure of modern daily life, 
preserved ever fresh his touch with the classics. Trained in 
law, fed from the fount of literature (ancient and modern), 
gifted with fluent speech that sometimes surged in flood of 
real eloquence, he was just the man who might be counted 
upon to captivate the House of Commons. The melancholy 
fact is, that when he rose he emptied it. 

His conspicuous failings as he stood at the table were 
lack of humour and a style of elocution fatally reminiscent 
of the uninspired curate in fine frenzy preaching. Yet, when 
he spoke from the platform he was a real force. Mr. 



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Gladstone, accustomed to his failures in the House of 
Commons, spoke in private with unqualified admiration of a 
speech he chanced to hear him deliver at a crowded political 
meeting in North Wales. This dual character Osborne 
Morgan shared in common with the counsellor of Kings, the 
sustainer of Sultans, who represents one of the divisions of 
Sheffield. The House of Commons insists on making Sir 
E. Ashmead-Bartlett a butt, and in regarding him as a bore. 
Inasmuch as his advocacy of any particular question has effect 
upon this uncompromisingly critical audience, it is hurtful 
rather than helpful to his client. Yet I have heard upon 
competent authority that on the platform, even faced by hard- 
headed Yorkshiremen, " Silomo " is a really effective speaker. 
The doctors gave an orthodox name to the sickness of 
which Osborne Morgan died. What really killed him was 

disappointment suffered . , 

— * * Judge 

when, in August 1892, Advocate. 
Mr. Gladstone formed his ^^"""'• 
last Administration. I do not know 
what he expected, but he was certainly 
mortally offended when offered his old 
post of Judge Advocate-General, even 
though it was considerately gilded 
with a baronetcy. He hotly declined 
the office, and when Mr. Gladstone, 
with patient benignity, pressed the 
baronetcy upon him, he would have 
none of it. It was only after the 
lapse of several days, when his ruffled 
plumage had been smoothed down by 
the friendly hands of two of his old 
colleagues, that he accepted the 
friendly offer. A warm - hearted, 
7^ kindly-natured, hot-headed Welshman, 

THE LATE SIR G. o. MORGAN, ^hosc bcst Hkcd Osbomc Morgan 

who knew him best. He combined 

in his person in fullest measure the attributes of a scholar 

and a gentleman. 




1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



153 



Though, as is admitted, Osborne Morgan was not 
conspicuous for a sense of humour, he found grim enjoyment 
in recital of a true story. Travelling up to ..q^^^,. 
London one early spring day to resume his 
Parliamentary duties, he was conscious of a certain pride in 
a new portmanteau to which he had treated himself It was 




THE NEW PORTMANTEAU. 



fine and large, and carried in bold relief his initials — G. O. M. 
On arriving at Paddington, he found his prized possession 
had been subjected to an outrage comparable only with the 
Bulgarian atrocities which at the time Mr. Gladstone was 
denouncing with flaming eloquence. Some patriot Jingo, 
seeing the initials, and confusedly associating them with the 
Grand Old Man, had whipped out his knife and cut away 
from the unoffending portmanteau the hateful letters. 



CHAPTER XIII 

MAY 

Cliveden, once, as Pope genially put it, 

The bower of Wanton Shrewsbury and love, 

now the modest home of an American millionaire, has still 

another claim to fame. It was at Cliveden, a few months 

more than thirty years ago, that Mr. Gladstone 

The Birthplace -^ / & ' 

of the Irish finally decided, not only upon a campaign 
Church Bill, agajj^s^ ^Yie Irish Church, but on the form in 
which action should be opened in the House of Commons. 
Under the auspices of the Duchess of Sutherland, then in 
residence at Cliveden, Mr. Gladstone was a frequent visitor. 
So also was the Duke of Argyll. 

Another guest, at that time closely connected with one 
of these statesmen, tells me that Mr. Gladstone and the 
Duke had long consultations on the question of the Irish 
Church. Mr. Gladstone had set himself the task of bring- 
ing the Duke round to his views on the subject. The Duke 
hesitated, and was lost. One morning, after renewed dis- 
cussion and explanation, he yielded. Strong in his powerful 
support, Mr. Gladstone went back to London, resolved to 
move for the Committee to consider his Resolutions for the 
Disestablishment of the Church in Ireland, the first blow 
given at its foundations. 

Counting his close connection with eleven Parliaments 

i54 



1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



155 



Relics of 1874. 



of the Queen, Sir John Mowbray has 
who has known only seven. 
A sight of a picture of one 
of these older Houses, or a glance 
down a division list of twenty or 
twenty - five years ago, shows with 
startling effect the mutability of the 
assembly. Without going so far back 
as the Session of 1873, when I com- 
menced regular attendance upon the 
debates, I have gone carefully through 
the roll-call of members elected to the 
Parliament of 1874, and compared it 
with the list of to-day. I find that of 
the crowd of members sworn in in 
1874, only twenty-six have seats in 
the present Parliament. 

Of these the oldest is the Father 
of the present House, Sir John Mow- 



the advantage of one 





MR. TALBOT. 

of which I saw the closing Session. 



COLONEL SIR E. GOURLEY. 

bray. Next to him 
comes Mr. Beach, the 
Young Pretender in 
the claim to succes- 
sion to the throne of 
the Fathership. He 
was, by the way, 
elected in the same 
year that John Bright 
was returned to Par- 
liam.ent by Birming- 
ham. There is a 
notable group of 
veterans from the 
Parliament of 1868, 
At their head towers 



156 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



Sir William Harcourt, with his present colleague on the 
Front Opposition Bench, Sir H. Campbell - Bannerman. 
Others of this year are Mr. A. H. Brown, the gallant 
ex - Cornet, who represents a division of Shropshire in 

the present Parlia- 
ment ; Mr. J. Round 
(Essex), Mr. Chaplin, 
Colonel Sir E. 
Gourley, Lord George 
Hamilton, Mr. 
Staveley Hill, and 
Mr. J. G. Talbot. 
Sir Michael Hicks- 
Beach, though he 
does not look it, is 
an older member 
than any of these, 
having taken his seat 
in I 864. SirWilliam 
Hart Dyke, Sir 
Joseph Pease, and 
Mr. M. Biddulph 
date from 1865. Mr. 
Abel Smith (I am 
not quite sure whether he has yet made his maiden speech) 
came in in 1866. Sir John Kennaway goes back to 1870. 
Of the 1874 brand are Mr. Arthur Balfour, Mr. Burt, Sir 
Charles Cameron, Mr. T. F. Halsey, Mr. F. C. Morgan, Sir 
Charles Palmer, Mr. Ritchie, and Mr. C. H. Wilson, member 
for Hull in the present Parliament. 

In respect of our Parliamentary usages, the Colonies are 
preferring a request which, though it may not lead to sub- 
A Colonial mcrsion of tea-chests in Sydney Harbour or 
Qrievance. other Australasian port, may, in time, seriously 
engage the attention of Mr. Chamberlain. When members 
of the Imperial Parliament visit any of the self-governing 
Colonies it is the pretty fashion for the Premier to move that 




SIK JOHN KENNAWAY. 



1898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 157 

chairs be provided for them on the floor of the House at the 
right of the Speaker. When members of Colonial Parlia- 
ments, not to mention Colonial Premiers and Ministers of 
the Crown, visit the House of Commons, they have no 
privileges other than those shared in common with more or 
less distinguished strangers. If there is room they may 
have a seat in the Diplomatic Gallery ; or, on the same con- 
ditions, under the gallery, with the proviso that they shall 
be bundled out whenever a division is called. The con- 
gregation of Colonial Premiers who flocked to London in 
honour of the Jubilee brought this condition of affairs to a 
head. 

Mr. Hogan, M.P., whose birthplace was Nenagh, whose 
home is the world, with a special preference for Australia, 
has taken the matter in hand. He does not go the length 
of proposing that Colonial magnates shall have a seat on the 
floor of the House, but suggests that they may be admitted 
to the side-gallery on the right of the Speaker, at present 
reserved for members. This point of view is not nearly so 
good as that provided by the front row of the Diplomatic 
Gallery. But honourable distinctions are of more account 
than is personal convenience. 

The laxer rules of the House of Lords as affecting the 
outside public is illustrated when foreign potentates or high 
Ministers of State visit this country. Last year License in 
we had the King of Siam, who diligently went the Lords. 
the round of both Houses. In the Commons he was treated 
as an ordinary distinguished stranger, a seat being provided 
for him in the gallery over the clock. When he went over 
to the House of Lords a chair was placed for him on the 
steps of the Throne, literally on the floor of the House. 

This contiguity with the Woolsack enabled His Majesty 
to observe with close and audibly-expressed delight the 
graceful performance of the Lord Chancellor as, popping on 
and off the Woolsack, he formally placed the House in and 
out of Committee. No one present can ever forget the 
boyish delight with which the King, digging his chaperon, 
Lord Harris, in the ribs, pointed to the stately figure, which 



158 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



he seemed to think had been specially wound up to go 

through this quaint per- 
formance for his Royal 
pleasure. 

When, a year earlier, 
Li Hung Chang was a 
visitor to these shores, he 
suffered the same reverse 
of fortune. In the Com- 
mons he was seated with 
Westminster boys and 
other distinguished 
visitors in the Diplomatic 
Gallery. In the House 
of Lords he had a chair 
set for him almost under 
the shadow of the 
Throne. 

Per contra, this par- 
ticular part of the House 

of Commons, jhe cross 

in close proximity to the Bar, has its restrictions Benches, 
for members. The very best place in the Chamber from 




"POPPING ON AND OFF THE WOOLSACK.' 




THE CROSS BENCHES. 



which a member might address an audience is the Cross 
Bench on either side of the Bar. It comes more nearly 



i898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 159 

than anything else available to the Tribune, from which in 
Continental Parliaments the orator faces the House. So 
attractive is the place that a member seated there, and feeling 
suddenly impelled to take part in debate or to put a supple- 
mentary question, sometimes rises and commences an observa- 
tion. It is promptly interrupted by a roar of execration, 
amid which the trembling member is projected or dragged 
forth, and made to stand before one of the side benches. 

The explanation of what to the stranger in the Gallery 
seems an unprovoked and unmanly assault is, that the Cross 
Benches are technically outside the House, whose area at 
this quarter is defined by an imaginary bar. 

When morning after morning through the Session I hear 
the Speaker, a few minutes after midnight, put the question 
"That this House do now adjourn," I think of pgybreakon 
times that are no more, and wonder how Westminster 
members of the present House would like to " ^^' 
have them resuscitated. Twenty years ago, nay a dozen 
years ago, the hour at which members now expect to go 
home, querulous if they are kept up for an extra half-hour, 
was the epoch of the sitting at which business usually began 
to brisk up. Members flocking down for questions at half- 
past four never knew at what time of the next morning they 
would be free from their labours. For the cry, " Who goes 
home ? " to echo through the lobby at half-past one in the 
morning was a sign of uncommonly quiet times. Two or 
three o'clock was more usual, and history records how, at 
frequent intervals, there was what came to be called an " All- 
night sitting." 

Often leaving the House after a ten or twelve hours' 
sitting, I have stood on Westminster Bridge and seen what 
Wordsworth described as he drove over it on an early 
September morning in 1 803 : — 

This city now doth like a garment wear 
The beauty of the morning ; silent, bare. 

Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie 

Open unto the fields and to the sky, 
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air. 



i6o 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



The fields are built over, but there remained the truth which 
Wordsworth hymned, and his sister Dorothy described 
scarcely less charmingly in a prose letter, that earth has not 
anything to show more fair than the scene from Westminster 




'^S ''"'"' 



DAYBREAK ON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE. 



Bridge at the break of a summer day. Naturally it was the 
more soothing after the heat and turmoil of a long sitting in 
the adjoining House of Commons. 

When the Twelve o'clock Rule was introduced it was 
avowedly an experiment, timidly made in face of that 
The Twelve Stem Conservatism that animates the House 
o'clock Rule. ^^ Commons in all that relates to procedure. 
Members were assured it would be easy to go back to the 
old order of things if after the experience of a Session return 
were found advisable. I suppose there is no power on earth 
that would to-day induce the House of Commons to revoke 
the Twelve o'clock Rule. From time to time, to suit Minis- 
terial convenience, it is suspended for a particular sitting. 
It is necessary that motion to that effect should be formally 



1898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT i6i 

made at the commencement of the sitting. The motion 
carried, the House is at liberty to peg away till two or three 
o'clock in the morning, or, if it pleases, till breakfast time. 
It turns out in a majority of cases that extension of time is 
not needed, debate being brought to a conclusion before 
midnight, just as if the Rule were still in force. When the 
limit is overstepped it is only by a few halting paces, members 
fuming with indignation if they are kept up as late as half- 
past twelve. 

The best part of the story is, that at least as much 
legislative work is now accomplished in the average Session 
as was scored during the barbaric times that preceded the 
establishment of the Twelve o'clock Rule. It is true that 
the House meeting now at three o'clock instead of four has 
an hour to the good. By comparison with the old order of 
things, the rising of the House under the new rule is equivalent 
to dispersal at one o'clock in the morning. But, taking a 
Session through, the aggregate duration of a sitting is not 
nearly what it used to be, whilst there is added the whole- 
some certainty of members knowing exactly the hour of 
breaking up. 

The Twelve o'clock Rule, like household suffrage and 
other beneficent revolutionary enactments, was carried under 
Conservative auspices. Had the proposal been j^^y 
made by a Liberal Minister, Mr. W. H. Smith Revolutionists, 
and his colleagues on the Treasury Bench who carried it 
would have died on the floor of the House in resisting it. 
It is one of the advantages of having a Tory Government 
occasionally in power, that its tenure of office frequently sees 
bold reforms accomplished. To Mr. Arthur Balfour, sub- 
servient to the same law of nature, the House is indebted 
for the scheme whereby Supply is regularly dealt with 
through a succession of Friday nights. This rule on its 
proposal was violently assailed by some Liberal critics as 
an infringement on freedom of debate, most jealously guarded 
in all that relates to Supply. It has come to pass that, 
under the new regulation. Supply is more fully, and more 
calmly, discussed than it was in the good old days. 

M 



l62 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



Incidentally, the close of the Session within reasonable 
time is automatically fixed. This is another rule aimed 
at obstruction — individual or organised — which, whilst it 
shortens the Session, does not practically narrow opportunity 
for accomplishing useful work. In spite of occasional sug- 
gestions to the contrary, the House of Commons is, after all, 
an assembly of business men. It is ready (sooner or later) 
to recognise the inevitable. Having a certain strict measure- 
ment of cloth dealt out to it, convinced that in no circum- 
stances will it get an inch more, it cuts its coat accordingly. 
If there be any difference in the output of the work of a 
Session under the new and the old orders of things, I should 

say that, with the shorter sittings 
and the automatically - closed 
Session, more work is done than 
under the looser arrangements 
that made obstruction master of 
the situation. 

The lamented death of Sir H. 
Havelock-Allan relieves the public 
purse from two dis- _, , 

r _ Pensioners in 

tinct payments. Sir the House of 

H. Commons. 
enry was m receipt 

of £yoo a year retired pay as 
Major - General and Honorary 
Lieut. -General. In addition, he 
received a pension of i^iooo a 
year for military services. In 
this respect he topped the list of 
members of the House of Com- 
mons drawing State pay. I think 
the nearest to him is General 
Fitzwygram, who draws retired 
pay to the amount of ;^ii85 a 
year. General Edwards, Member 
for Hythe, is comforted in his retirement with a pension of 
£770. General Goldsworthy draws only .^466, but he 
commuted £2^6 per annum of his retired pay, receiving a 




THE LATE SIR HENRY HAVELOCK- 
ALLAN. 



1 898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



163 



lump sum of i^i95 I : 16 : 6. The odd shillings and pence 
recall the items in President Kruger's little bill. 

General Laurie draws £610 retired pay. General 
Russell and General McCalmont each have ^500 a year, 
the half-pay of a Major-General. Colonel Wyndham Murray, 
of Bath, draws ;^300 a year retired pay, with an additional 
£70 a year for arduous and gallant services as Gentleman- 
at-Arms. Sir John Colomb battens on the retired pay of 
a captain, amounting to ;^i 33 : 16 : 8. But he has, or had, 
to the good ;^I595 : 15s., amount paid for commutation of 
pensions. Mr. Arthur O'Connor preserves pleasant reminis- 
cences of duties at the 
War Office in the shape 
of retired pay amount- 
ing to ;^i 7 2 : I OS. He 
commuted his pension 
for a lump sum of 
;^2420 : 18:6. The 
Marquis of Lome 
draws ;i^llOO a year 
as Governor and Con- 
stable of Windsor 
Castle. Serjeant 

Hemphill, some time 
Solicitor - General for 
Ireland, has a pension of 1000 guineas a year in commemora- 
tion of his Chairmanship of County Kerry. From the same 
distressful country, Mr. W. J. Corbett draws a pension of 
^^292 : I OS., he having for a while been Chief Clerk of the 
Lunatic Department, Mr. Doogan, the member for East 
Tyrone, modestly assimilates ;^i i i : 5 : 4, the pension of a 
National School Teacher. 

Sir Thomas Fardell has his new knighthood supported 
by a pension of £666 : 13:4, the pension of a Registrar 
in Bankruptcy. 666 is, of course, the Number of the 
Beast ; the 1 3s. 4d. more directly pertains to the lawyer. 
Colonel Kenyon Slaney has ;^420 a year retired pay, 
and Mr. Staveley Hill receives, in addition to fees, ;^ioo 




SERJEANT HEMPHILL. 



164 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



The Minnows. 



as Counsel to the Admiralty and Judge Advocate of the 

Fleet. 

These are the whales among the 
pensioners in the House of Commons. 
There are some small fry 
who receive trifling recogni- 
tion of military ardour devoted to the 
service of their country. Lord Cran- 
borne, for example, draws ;i^2 2 : 19s. 
annual pay as Colonel of the 4th Battalion 
of the Bedfordshire Regiment. He 
further has an allowance of ;^ i 7 : 11 : 6. 
Mr. Hermon Hodge sustains his 
distinctively military appearance on 
£6 : 1 1 : 3, supplemented by an allow- 
ance of £2 : I : 7 as Captain and 
Honorary Major 
of the Oxford 
Yeomanry. Sir 
Elliot Lees, 
Bart, draws a 
Captain's pay in 
the Dorset Yeo- 
manry. Together with allowance it 
foots up to ;i^8 : I I : 3 per annum. 
Mr. Legh, Captain and Hon. Major 
of the Lancashire Hussars Yeomanry, 
draws an aggregate of is. lod. a 
year more. Mr. Walter Long supple- 
ments his salary as President of the 
Board of Agriculture by pay and 
allowance amounting to ;^io : 3 : 6, 
the guerdon of his colonelcy of the 
Royal Wilts Yeomanry. Mr. George 
Wyndham, Captain of the Cheshire 
Yeomanry, is put off with a paltry 
^8 : I 3 : 4 in annual pay and allow- 
ance. In worst plight of all is Lord Dudley's brother, Mr. 




^ 



MK. HEKMON HODGE. 




MR. SWIFT MACNEILL : "HAVE 
YOU SEEN MR. WARD?" 



1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



165 



Ward, who represents the Crewe division of Cheshire. As 
Second Lieutenant of the Worcester Yeomanry he receives 
in pay and allowance £4 : 1 9s. a year. 

The House of Commons will begin to understand why 
the gallant member has gone to the Cape, exciting the con- 
cern of Mr. Swift MacNeill at his prolonged abstention from 
Parliamentary duties. A man 
can't get on in London on ;^5 
a year minus one shilling. 



IS 



An Unknown 
Poet. 




The present Earl of Derby 
one of the few members of 
the House of Lords 
who can bring to 
discussion of affairs in Crete 
personal knowledge of the island. 
Just twenty years ago, when he 
was Secretary of State for War, 
he made a semi-official tour in 
Eastern waters, accompanied by 
that gallant seaman Mr. W. H. 
Smith, at the time First Lord of 
the Admiralty. The event was 
celebrated in the following verse, 
the manuscript of which, in an 
unrecognised hand, I turned up 
the other day among some papers relating to the epoch : — 

The head of the Army and chief of the Fleet 
Went out on a visit to Cyprus and Crete. 
The natives received them with joyful hurrahs, 
Called one of them Neptune, the other one Mars. 
They ran up an altar to Stanley forthwith, 
And ran up a bookstall to W. H. Smith. 

To the sensitive ear the rhyme of the last couplet is 
not everything that might be desired. But the intention is 
good. 



' ' THE HEAD OF THE ARMY AND 
CHIEF OF THE FLEET." 

MARS : COL. THE HON. A. F. STANLEY. 
NEPTUNE : THE LATE W. H. SMITH. 



CHAPTER XIV 

JUNE 

During Mr. Gladstone's stay at Bournemouth in the 

early days of March conversation turned upon the prog- 

, ^ ^ ,. nostications about the next Unionist Premier. 

Lord Salis- 
bury's Asked whom he thought would succeed Lord 

Salisbury, Mr. Gladstone replied in that deep 

chest note he uses when strongly moved : " The Duke of 

Devonshire." 

In reviewing probable candidates for the post, the 

authority whose opinion I was privileged to quote did not 

glance beyond the House of Commons. I fancy that, 

fascinated by consideration of possible rivalry in the running 

between Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Balfour, he " forgot 

Devonshire," as Lord Randolph Churchill on an historic 

occasion " forgot Goschen." Mr. Gladstone, who forgot 

nothing, seems to have hit the right nail on the head. The 

succession of the Duke of Devonshire to the post of the 

Marquis of Salisbury — men of all parties and politics will 

hope the occasion may be far distant — would, save from one 

aspect presently noted, be as popular as it would be meet. 

The Duke's promotion, on whatever plane or to whatever 

height it may reach, would never evoke the opposition 

instinctively ranged against the advance of a pushful man. 

Every one knows that, if the Duke followed his natural 

impulse and gratified his heart's desire, he would stand aside 

altogether from the worry and responsibility of public life, 

1 66 



1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



167 



As it is, he compromises by strolling in late to meet its 

successive engagements. 

It was under personal persuasion of 

Mr. John Bright that he first essayed 

public life. In deference to party loyalty 

and a sense of public duty he, on the 

retirement of Mr. Gladstone in 1874, 

undertook the thankless task of leading 

the disorganised and disheartened Liberal 

Party. Having twelve years later, for 

conscience' sake, withdrawn from the 

Leadership of Mr. Gladstone, he again 

caught a glimpse of the land where it is 

always afternoon. Mr. Chamberlain at 

this crisis braced him up to meet the 

new call of duty. 

In a long 
and not un- 
varied political 
career no one 
has ever hinted 
atsuspicionthat 

the Duke of Devonshire was in- 
fluenced in any step by self-seeking 
motive. He may have been right, 
he may have been wrong. He 
always did the thing he believed 
to be right, irrespective of personal 
prejudice or desire. Neither on 
the public platform nor in either 
House of Parliament has he met 
with the success that marks the 
effort of some others. But it 
would be impossible to exaggerate 
the width and the depth of the 
esteem with which this shy bored 
man, who would chiefly like to be 

let alone, is held in the hearts of the people. A Ministry 





' ' STROLLING IN LATE. 



BRACING HIM UP. 



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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



189S 



formed under his Premiership would start with an enormous 
and sustaining access of popular confidence. 

Apart from that, the arrangement would recommend 
itself by shelving off that otherwise inevitable conflict for 
final pre-eminence between Mr. Balfour and Mr. Chamberlain 
the prophetic soul of my Mentor discovered, and disclosed 
in his conversation recorded in an earlier chapter. Whatever 



mK 









ijiiji lililliiiiiiiiiii 

'' ' ■ -''■''''''■'!i!llllllllilllll|lilll|iij|ijii|||-"l" 



ip- 



liiii 







* 



'^L'' 



A " BALLON DESSAL 



may be the views of those statesmen with respect to playing 
second fiddle one to the other, there would be no possible 
objection to either serving under the Duke of Devonshire as 
Premier. 

The quarter from which opposition to the Duke of 

Devonshire's advancement to the Premiership will come is 

A Tory the Tory wing of the Unionist camp. Just before 

Protest. Easter, a story with circumstance was circulated, 

indicating the immediate retirement of Lord Salisbury from 

the Premiership and the succession of the Duke of Devon- 



1898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 169 

shire. That was certainly not a ballon d'essai from Downing 
Street. It equally well served the purpose. It drew forth 
unmistakable testimony that proposal of such arrangement 
would occasion unpleasant protest. 

Objection was not taken on the ground of personal 
disqualification on the part of the Duke. What was bluntly 
said in private conversation was that, in the division of the 
spoils of office, the Liberal Unionists had secured something 
more than their full share. To confer the Leadership upon a 
member of their body, however distinguished and, on personal 
grounds, however acceptable, was too great a sacrifice to be 
claimed for the altar of Unionism. This demonstration will, 
doubtless, have due influence in directing the final arrange- 
ment whenever circumstances call for its settlement.^ 

Mr. Goschen has, I believe, made considerable progress 
with a labour of love, his solace in the comparative leisure of 
the recess. It is preparation of the life and ^r. ooschen's 
correspondence of his grandfather, a publisher in Literary work. 
Berlin a century ago. He lived through the time of the 
First Empire, his literary connections bringing him in contact 
with some of the principal men of the age. These letters 
he preserved, together with copies of his own correspondence. 

Nobody wishes the First Lord of the Admiralty that 
prolonged leisure which would result from dismissal of Her 
Majesty's Ministers from office. Still, it would be a loss to 
the country, equal to the non-completion of a new ironclad, 
if he failed to find time to finish his book. I never read the 
First Lord's TJieory of the Foreign Exchange, and am not 
in a position to judge of his literary style. But he is a man 
of keen literary taste, who certainly has to his hand the 
materials for a memorable book. 

One of the fables about Mr. Balfour that endear him to 
the public mind is that which pictures him as never reading 

^ When in 1902 Lord Salisbury retired, the legacy of his Ministerial vesture 
was parted in twain. The Duke of Devonshire succeeded him in the Leadership of 
the Lords, Mr. Balfour in the Premiership. 



lyo 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



a newspaper. It is only partially true, and like most true 
A Precedent for things, it is not new. The peculiarity finds 
Mr. Balfour, parallel in so distinct a personage as Edmund 
Burke. In the interesting and curious autobiography of 
Arthur Young, edited by M. Betham- Edwards, there 
is note of an interview with Burke. Under date May i, 
1796, Arthur Young describes how he visited the great 
statesman, who " after breakfast took me a sauntering walk 
of five hours over his farm and to a cottage where a scrap of 
land had been stolen from the waste." Speaking on public 
affairs, Young records, " Burke said he never looked at a 
newspaper. ' But if anything happens to occur which they 
think will please me, I am told of it' " Young observed 
that there was strength of mind in this resolution. " Oh 
no," Burke replied, " it is mere weakness of mind." 

With Mr. Arthur Balfour the motive is probably philo- 
sophical indifference. 

Another proof supplied by this book of the truth of the 
axiom about nothing being new under the sun is personal to 

Mr. Jesse CollingS. jhree Acres 

That eminent states- a°<i « ^^'^' 
man first came into prominent 
notice as a politician by his adop- 
tion of the battle-cry, "Three 
Acres and a Cow." A forebear 
of the present Lord Winchilsea, 
whose interest in agriculture is 
hereditary, was first in this par- 
ticular field. 

Writing in June 1817, Mr 
Young notes : " Lord Winchilsea 
called here and chatted with me 
upon cottagers' land for cows, 
which he is well persuaded, and 
most justly, is the only remedy 
for the evil of poor rates." 

That is not exactly the way Mr. 
Jesse CollingS put it. It comes to the same thing in the end. 




AH, YES, I USED TO SING IT, BUT 
THAT WAS YEARS AGO." 



1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



171 



The innate Conservatism of the House of Commons is 
picturesquely shown in the retention of the thin line of red 
that marks the matting on either side of the floor, ..j^^ y,,i„ 
a short pace in front of the rows of benches on R*'* Line." 
either side. Up to the present day it is a breach of order 
for any members addressing the Speaker or Chairman of 
Committees to stand outside this mark. If by chance one 
strays he is startled by angry shout of " Order ! Order ! " 

Probably few members who thus vindicate order know 
the origin of this particular institution. The red line is a 



.^§; 



"^^ 



M^rn^ 







" THE RED LINE." 

relic of duelling days. It then being the custom for every 
English gentleman to wear a sword, he took the weapon 
down with him to the House, with as easy assurance as to- 
day he may carry his toothpick. In the heat of debate it 
was the most natural thing in the world to draw a sword and 
drive home an argument by pinking in the ribs the con- 
troversialist on the other side. The House, in its wisdom, 
therefore ordered that no member taking part in debate 
should cross a line to be drawn on the floor. This was 
judiciously spaced so that members standing within the line 
were far beyond reach of each other's sword-point. 



172 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

In spite of this grandmotherly precaution, duels arising 
out of quarrels picked in the House, and forthwith settled in 
its immediate precincts, became so frequent that 
a fresh order was promulgated forbidding 
members to carry arms during attendance on their 
Parliamentary duties. The only armed man in attendance 
on debate is the Serjeant-at-Arms, who carries a pretty 
sword. Once a year exception is further made in the case 
of the mover and seconder of the Address, who may wear 
the sword pertaining to their naval or military uniform. 

The way it persistently gets between their legs as they 
walk up the floor, or try to sit down, consoles less dis- 
tinguished members for general abrogation of the privilege. 

One other nice distinction in the matter of steel imple- 
ments exists to the disadvantage (or advantage according as 
the case is regarded) of the borough member. 
A Knight of the Shire may, if he thinks fit, enter 
the House of Commons and take part in debate with spurs 
on. This luxury is forbidden to the borough member. Sir 
Herbert Maxwell tells me he once saw a borough member 
who had ridden down to the House innocently attempt to 
enter the Chamber with armed heel. He was immediately 
stopped — whether by the doorkeeper or the lynx-eyed 
Serjeant-at-Arms, watchful in his chair, deponent sayeth 
not — and compelled to remove his spurs. 

A new-fangled notion the House of Commons cannot 

away with is that of type-writing. It is true that in recent 

Type-written years accommodatiou has been made for private 

Petitions, members to use type-writing machines. That is 

a private affair, strictly guarded to the extent that members 

availing themselves of the machines must pay the type-writer. 

It is quite another thing when, as sometimes happens, 
people, ignorant of some of the more delicate of the founda- 
tions on which the safety and prosperity of the Empire rest, 
forward type-written petitions to the House. More than a 
century ago it was ordered that all petitions presented to the 
honourable House should be written in legible, clerkly hand. 



1 898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



173 



Neither lithograph nor printed type was permitted. Editors 
of newspapers and magazines, publishers, press readers, and 
the like, welcome the sight of type-written manuscript in 
matter submitted to their judgment. The House of 
Commons is above petty considerations of the kind that 
influence this opinion. When it was established, there was 
no such device as lithography, type-writing, or, for the matter 
of that, a printing-press. Petitions were then written by 
hand, and they must be so written now. 

The Committee on Petitions, accordingly, make a point 
of returning every petition other than those written by hand, 
and in this decision it has the support of the Speaker, to 
whom the question has been solemnly submitted. 



Our Cap'en Tommy Bowles is not the first of his clan in 
the House of Commons. There was one there more than 
A Mid-century fi^y ycars ago, though 
Bowles, M.p. (happy augury) he ranked 
as admiral. In TJie Mirror of Par- 
liament oi the Session 1845 I find the 
following entry : " Admiral Bowles 
alluded to the Duke of Portland 
having built the Pantaloon to improve 
naval architecture. But the Navy 
could not boast of a pair of panta- 
loons. (A laugh.) He (Admiral 
Bowles) had himself commanded the 
armament in the Shannon, which had 
distinguished itself in the collection 
of the Irish poor rates." 

This last remark further shows 
how apt is history to repeat itself. 
There is no recent case of the British 
Navy in Irish waters being commis- 
sioned for the collection of rents or rates ; but during 
Coercion days, between 1886 and 1890, detachments of 
the British Army were not infrequently invoked for 
assistance in the collection of rents. 




CAP EN TOMMY BOWLES, OF 
THE HORSE MARINES. 



174 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

At the time of the Queen's Jubilee there was published 
a list of people who, living at that happy time, had been 
present at the coronation of the Queen. One 
omission from the printed list was the name of 
the Marquis of Salisbury, at the time a small boy of seven 
summers, absolutely indifferent to the bearings of the Concert 
of Europe. In the matter of experience at coronations. Sir 

John Mowbray stands alone. He saw 
the Queen's Coronation Procession as it 
passed along the street. He was actually 
present at the Coronation of William IV. 
The Westminster boys had the privilege 
of being seated in Westminster Abbey 
just above the benches allotted to the 
Peers, Sir John, then at Westminster 
School, availed himself of the opportunity, 
and to this day declares that he and his 
school chums had a much better view of 
the scene than had the Peers. 

Sir John, older by fifteen years than 
the Prime Minister, was at Oxford when 
the Queen came to the throne. On the 
"^-c^ occasion of Her Majesty's marriage, the 
"YOUNG MOWBRAY." Univcrsity drew up a loyal address and 

sent a deputation of their members to 
present it. Young Mowbray (young at this day) was one 
of those entrusted with this pleasant and honourable duty. 
His keenest and still abiding recollection of the scene is the 
Duke of Wellington standing in close attendance on the 
girl Queen. 

In the rough-and-tumble of electioneering contest, Sir E. 
Ashmead-Bartlett is more successful than he proves in the 
The Bald finer fence of the House of Commons. But he 
Truth. sometimes meets his match in Yorkshire. At 
one of the gatherings in an electoral campaign, he was 
frequently interrupted by a man in the body of the hall, who 
resented his uncompromising attacks upon political opponents. 




1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



175 



The Knight bore this trial with admirable good-humour, till, 
seeing an opening for scoring a point, he said — 

" Now I am 
going to tell you 
something about the 
late Liberal Govern- 
ment that will make 
my friend's hair 
stand on end," in- ,4:;%^/ 
dicating, with smil- 
ing nod, the vigorous 
critic in the body of 
the hall. 

" Wrong again!" 
shouted the irrepres- 
sible one, removing 
his cap and display- 
ing a head smooth 
as a billiard - ball. 
" It can't be done." 

" WRONG AGAIN ! 

The other day 
a member of Her Majesty's Government, one of the oldest 
living statesmen, whose acquaintance with public pubuc 
meetings is equal to that of any of his contem- Audiences, 
poraries left in the House of Commons, was talking to me 
about the varying quality of public audiences. As any 
one accustomed to speak from the platform knows, audiences 
differ widely and inscrutably. 

" Broadly speaking," said the right hon. gentleman, " the 
farther north the political orator travels the better — I mean 
the more inspiriting — will he find his audience. Going into 
particulars, I should say that London, for this purpose, is the 
worst of all. The best audiences are Scotch, and I have 
found in my personal experience the pick of them at Glasgow. 
Newcastle-on-Tyne is excellent ; Liverpool is second-rate ; 
Birmingham, so-so." 

It would be interesting to have these experiences com- 




1/6 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



pared. Doubtless a speaker's judgment would be biassed by 
the practical result of his visit to particular towns. If, for 
example, he were elected at the head of the poll in Glasgow, 
and left at the bottom in London, he could hardly be 
expected to retain through life fond recollections of the com- 
munity that had dissembled its love. The Minister to whom 
I allude ^ never contested Glasgow, and for many years was 
returned at the head of the poll for a great London constitu- 
ency. His testimony may therefore be regarded as unbiassed 
by personal predilection. 



The Terrace of Westminster Palace flanking the river is so 
intimately connected with the House of Commons, that it ex- 
clusively _. „ . 

^ The House of 

j^ , bears its commons' 

\v;'i»ii xm HiPj 




Terrace. 



name. 

" The House of Com- 
mons' Terrace," it is 
called, as it looms 
large through the 
London season. But 
members of the 
House of Lords have 
an equal share in its 
privileges. They 
might, if they pleased, 
on fine summer after- 
noons bring down 
bevies of fair dames 
and regale them with tea, strawberries, and cream. 

By way of asserting their rights, the Peers some time 
asro caused to be set forth on the Terrace a few belated 
benches specially assigned to and reserved for their use. 
They are deposited at the farther, bleaker end of the Terrace, 
whence the afternoon sun earliest flees. On very rare 
occasions a peer may be seen haughtily seated in solitary 
state on one of these benches. Somehow the thing does not 

^ Mr. Goschen. 



IN SOLITARY STATE. 



1898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 177 

work, and noble Lords strolling on the Terrace are humbly 
grateful if invited to sit at the table of a friend among the 
Commoners. 

I suppose that, next to the Queen and the Archbishop 
of Canterbury, the Speaker of the House of Commons is the 
recipient of the oddest correspondence in the j^e speaker's 
world. The late Lord Hampden, presiding over Letter-box. 
the House of Commons at a time of extreme excitement 
consequent on the opening of the campaign of Irish obstruc- 
tion, was especially enriched. Amongst his oddest experi- 
ences was the receipt by railway parcel of a box whose 
way-bill showed that it came from Ireland. Mr. Brand 
found it awaiting him on returning to Speaker's House 
after an uninterrupted sitting in the Commons of some 
forty-eight hours. He was piqued at the appearance of the 
box, and before seeking much-needed rest had it opened — 
discreetly, as became such undertakings in those troublesome 
times. 

The uplifted lid disclosed a pair of torn and toil-worn 
trousers, the odour filling the room with pained sense of the 
absence of primroses. On the garment was pinned a piece 
of paper on which was written the text, " God's will be done ! " 

Its application to the trousers and their despatch, carriage 
paid, to the Speaker of the House of Commons was and 
remains obscure. The incident was long anterior to the date 
at which Mr. William O'Brien's garments figured largely 
in the political history of the day. It serves to show how 
intimately, if in this case obscurely, Irish politics are, so to 
speak, wrapped up in trousers. 

The member for a northern constituency tells me of a 
melancholy accident that recently befell him. He happens 
to represent a borough in which party spirit runs Misdirected 
high, and finds outlet in physical demonstrations. Zeai. 
On the occasion of his annual visit news reached his com- 
mittee that the other side were planning, if not to pack the 
hall, at least to insert some formidable wedges of hostility. 

N 



178 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

It was agreed that these tactics must be met on their own 
lines. The member accordingly recruited in London a score 
of stout fellows who had served lusty apprenticeship as 
chuckers-out at music-halls, public-houses, and other popular 
resorts. They were discreetly conveyed in groups of two or 
three to the borough, lodged out with instructions to gather 
in the body of the hall within touch of each other, and unite 
their forces in the event of a hostile demonstration. 

The member got through his speech pretty well, attempts 
at criticism or interruption being drowned in the applause 
of his supporters. When he resumed his seat a meek-looking 
gentleman rose in the middle of the hall and said, " Mr. 
Chairman ! " He was greeted with cheers and counter- 
cheers, through the roar of which he feebly tried to continue 
his remarks. The lambs, disappointed at the tameness of 
the business, began to warm up in prospect of work. As 
the mild-looking gentleman persisted in endeavour to speak, 
they, at a given signal from their captain, swooped down 
upon him, lifted him shoulder high, and made a rush for the 
door with intent to fling him out. The townsmen in the 
body of the hall rallied to the rescue. A fight of fearsome 
ferocity followed. In the end the police were called in, and 
the hall cleared. 

" This will be a nasty business for us at the next elec- 
tion," gloomily said the chairman of the meeting to the 
member, as they made their way out from the back of the 
platform. " That was Mr. K , one of your most in- 
fluential supporters. He had risen to propose a vote of 
thanks to you when he was set upon in that infamous 
manner. It's not only him that was attacked. I saw 
scores of our best men going out with bleeding noses and 
blackened eyes. It'll tell some hundreds of votes against 
you at the next election." 

It is a peculiarity of Parliamentary debate that when- 
ever a certain journal is alluded to it is always styled " The 
Times newspaper." Any other paper mentioned is alluded 
to simply by its name. In private conversation or in 



1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



179 



correspondence, the very same members who mouth a refer- 
ence to " The Times newspaper " would, as a parliamentary 
matter of course, speak of " The Tiniest It is Fatuities, 
one of those little things which show how much there is among 
mankind, even in the House of Commons, of the character 
of a sheep. In a field you shall see one of a flock jumping 
over an imaginary obstacle, the rest following, doing exactly 
the same, though there 
is plainly nothing in the 
way. In the dim past 
some pompous person, 
stretching out his verbi- 
age, talked of" The Times 
newspaper," Others fol- 
lowed suit. To-day the 
custom is as firmly rooted 
as are the foundations of 
Victoria Tower. 

A kindred fatuity of 
Parliamentary speech is 
to talk of an hon. member 
" rising in his place," as 
if it were usual for him 
to rise in somebody 
else's, and, therefore, 
necessary for a variation 
in the habit to be noted. Funnier is the fashion amongst 
Ministers, especially Under-Secretaries, to talk about " laying 
a paper." What they mean is laying a paper on the table 
of the House. Tradition has grown up in the Foreign 
Office and elsewhere that a Parliamentary paper, whether 
Report, Despatch, or Blue Book, should be regarded as if it 
were an Q.g^. The Minister accordingly always talks tout 
court, either of " laying it " or " having laid it " or of under- 
taking to " lay it in a very few days," the latter an assurance 
of prevision far beyond the scope of the average hen-coop. 




^^ 



LAYING. 



A member of the Press Gallery of the House of Commons, 



i8o LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

who long ago took his last " turn " and handed in his final 
Shakespeare copy, Hves tenderly in my memory by reason of 
up to Date, a passage in his report of a speech delivered in 
the country by a great statesman. 

It ran as follows : " The right hon. gentleman concluded 
by expressing the opinion that the quality of mercy is not 
unduly strained. It dropped, he said, as the gentle rain 
from heaven descends upon the place beneath. In fact, he 
did not hesitate to assert that it was twice blessed, conferring 
blessing alike upon the donor and the recipient. (Loud 
cheers, amid which the right hon. gentleman resumed his 
seat.) " 

It was another of the confraternity, a painstaking, con- 
scientious colleague of my own, who, reporting a speech, 
happed upon the flawless couplet — 

Only the actions of the just 

Smell sweet and blossom in the dust. 

Whether he did not catch the last word, or, having it on 
his notes, thought it would be kind to save the speaker from 
the consequences of a slip of the tongue — for how could a 
flower blossom in the dust ? — he wrote the lines thus — 

Only the actions of the just 

Smell sweet and blossom like a rose. 



CHAPTER XV 



JULY 



The Rent in 

the Liberal learn 

Temple : 
behind 3.1 3. 

the Veil 



When the history of the influence of the Home Rule move- 
ment on the fortunes of the Liberal Party is written the 
world will 
how, 
parti- 
cular junc- 
ture, the riven party 
came near closing up 
its ranks. Meanwhile 
I am able to supply 
from private sources 
an authentic narrative 
of a political event 
which in national im- 
portance, in influence 
on the career of 
individuals, and in 
dramatic effect, finds 
its nearest parallel 
in Sir Robert Peel's 
conversion to Free 
Trade and what fol- 
lowed thereupon. 

In the middle of December 1885, what was subse- 
quently recognised as a ballon d'essai was sent up by a Leeds 

181 




THE WHIGS TAKE FRIGHT. 



l82 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



newspaper announcing that Mr. Gladstone had determined 
to celebrate the Liberal triumph at the General Election by 
bringing in a measure conferring Home Rule upon Ireland. 
Attention being called to the report, it was circumspectly denied. 
But the Whig section of the Liberal Party, of whom Lord 
Hartington and Mr. Goschen were representatives, took fright. 
Lord Hartington found an opportunity of publicly 
announcing that " no proposals on the policy to be adopted 
by the Liberal Party in reference to the demand of a large 
number of Irish representatives for the legislative inde- 
pendence of Ireland " had been communicated to him. As 
the weeks slipped by doubt deepened into certainty. The 
Whig wing of the Liberal Party drew farther apart from 
Mr. Gladstone. The situation was accentuated when, on 
the 26th of January 1886, Lord Salisbury, who, in spite of 
heavy defeat at the poll, met the new Parliament as Premier, 

was with his 
Government over- 
thrown. 

It was Mr. 
Jesse Collings who 
led the attack on 
the Ministers, his 
battle-flag proud- 
ly emblazoned 
with the famous 
design of three 
acres and a cow. 
Behind him stood 
Mr. Chamberlain. 
Lord Hartington 
and Mr. Goschen 
spoke against the 
amendment, and 
were accompanied 
into the Minis- 
terial division lobby by Sir Henry James. When, a week 
later, Mr. Gladstone formed his Administration, Lord Hart- 




MR. JESSE COLLINGS LEADS THE ATTACK. 



1898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 183 

ington and Sir Henry James declined to join it, the latter 
sacrificing for conscience' sake the prize of the Woolsack. 
Mr. Chamberlain and Sir George Trevelyan, accepting what 
they understood as assurances that the now inevitable 
Home Rule Bill would not imperil the unity of the Empire, 
joined Mr. Gladstone's Cabinet, one as President of the 
Local Government Board, the other as Secretary for 
Scotland. 

On the 27th of March these two Ministers resigned. 
In Cabinet Council they had learned the full truth about 
the Home Rule Bill. When it was first drafted it contained 
a clause establishing the supremacy of the Imperial Parlia- 
ment, and retaining at Westminster the collaboration of the 
Irish members. In a slightly modified form this clause 
appeared in the second draft of the Bill. In the third and 
final form Mr. Gladstone, yielding to the imperative con- 
ditions of Mr. Parnell, master of eighty-six votes, eliminated 
the clause. Whereupon Mr. Chamberlain and Sir George 
Trevelyan withdrew from the Cabinet. 

This brief resume oi events is necessary for the full under- 
standing of the narrative that follows. The „,., 

o Whig and 

public have during the past ten years grown so Radical 
accustomed to finding Mr. Chamberlain and the 
peer who was Lord Hartington working together in the 
unity of Liberal Unionism, that they are apt to suppose the 
same conditions existed from the first. As a matter of fact, 
in February 1886, Mr. Chamberlain was as widely dissevered 
from Lord Hartington as a month later he came to be 
parted from Mr. Gladstone. The Radical Anti-Home 
Rulers, following his lead, were bitterly resentful of the Whig 
Anti-Home Rulers, captained by Lord Hartington, a feeling 
accentuated by the vote given by them on Mr. Jesse 
Collings's amendment to the Address, which made an end of 
Lord Salisbury's foredoomed Administration. 

This was Mr. Gladstone's opportunity, used in the fitful 
negotiations that almost recaptured the Radicals. Lord 
Hartington and his friends in council did not want Home 
Rule on any terms. Mr. Chamberlain and his more than 



1 84 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



half-hundred Radical followers were quite willing to give 
Ireland Home Rule if the control of the Imperial Parliament 
were jealously conserved. 

This state of things existed up to Monday, the loth of 
May 1886, on which day Mr. Gladstone rose to move the 
A Flag second reading of his Bill, The position of the 
of Truce. Government was critical. There were ninety- 
three Liberals who had declared against the Bill. If they 

carried their objection as 
far as the division lobby it 
would be thrown out, and 
Mr. Gladstone and his Gov- 
ernment must go with it 
Many discerned the dire 
peril of the Liberal Party. 
One perceived a way of 
averting it. This was Mr, 
Labouchere, who, whilst 
an uncompromising Home 
Ruler, at the time enjoyed 
the confidence of Mr. 
Chamberlain. He ap- 
pointed to himself the task 
of reuniting the Radical 
section of the Liberal 
Unionists with what later 
came to be known as the 
Gladstonians. The fissure 
had opened on the question 
of the retention of Irish members at Westminster. If Mr. 
Gladstone gave way on that point all might be well. 

In conference with his colleagues the Premier finally 
agreed to the adoption of provisions whereby the Irish 
members should sit and vote on questions of Imperial range, 
including matters of finance. On Saturday, the 8th of May, 
Mr. Labouchere, having obtained this assurance in Downing 
Street, sought an interview with Mr. Chamberlain, who after 
some hesitation consented to accept this understanding as a 




MR. LABOUCHERE AS THE MESSENGER 
OF THE GODS. 



1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



185 



A Hitch. 



basis of reconciliation. The agreement was put in writing, 
Mr. Chamberlain dictating the terms, Mr. Labouchere acting 
as scribe — an arrangement which recalls the circumstances 
under which what is known in history as the Benedetti 
Treaty was committed to paper. Mr. Labouchere, having 
carried this flag of truce to Downing Street, went off to the 
country for a Sunday's rest, which he felt he had well earned. 

Coming back to town on the memorable Monday, the 
morn of the day on which the second reading of the Home 
Rule Bill was to be moved in terms and upon 
conditions that would bring back to the fold the 
strayed sheep, Mr. Labouchere discovered that his patriotic 
labour was undone. A note from Mr. Chamberlain awaited 
him, bitterly complaining that Mr. Gladstone was backing 
out, an assurance based on what purported to be an authorised 
paragraph in one of the London papers, in which Mr. Glad- 
stone was represented as protesting that he had yielded on 
no point connected with his Bill. Mr. Labouchere made 
haste to communicate with the Liberal Whip, and learned 
what had happened whilst he was spending a peaceful 
Sabbath day on the banks of the Thames. It had been 
brought to Mr. Gladstone's 
knowledge that Mr. Cham- 
berlain, after his interview 
with Mr. Labouchere on the 
Saturday, sent round to his 
friends a telegram announc- 
ing " absolute surrender " on 
the part of the Premier. 
Captain O'Shea received 
one of these messages. He 
showed it to Parnell, who 
sent it on to Mr. Gladstone. 

At this epoch the great 
statesman had been con- 
vinced of the impossibility of carrying, against the defection 
of a powerful section of his followers, the Home Rule Bill in 
its original form. He was ready to compromise. But those 




CAPTAIN O SHEA. 
From a Sketch made at the ParnelL Commission. 



1 86 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

familiar with his constitutional tendencies will understand 
how desperately he struggled against any appearance of being 
overcome in fight, more especially by a former lieutenant, 
and that lieutenant Mr. Chamberlain. When the emissary of 
a newspaper brought him news of the currency of the Cham- 
berlain telegram, and asked if it were true, the temptation 
to Mr. Gladstone to convince himself that he had yielded 
nothing would be irresistible. Hence the counter paragraph. 

When this bolt from the blue swiftlydescended, threatening 
to destroy the edifice of peace carefully built up, the amateur 

^ore architect turned to Mr. Gladstone. He found 
Negotiations, the Premier was staying with a friend at Sheen. 
Thither was despatched a messenger on a swift horse with 
an account of the new dilemma and request for instructions. 
Mr. Gladstone replied, it was quite true he had agreed to 
two alterations in his Bill — allowing Irish members to vote 
(i) on Imperial matters; (2) on finance of an Imperial 
character. The first amendment he undertook to draw up 
himself. The second he said he did not fully comprehend. 
If Mr. Chamberlain would formulate his demand in the 
shape of a clause, he did not doubt that he would be able 
to accept it. Mr. Labouchere brought this proposal to Mr. 
Chamberlain, who plainly denounced it as an effort to shirk 
the question, reading into Mr. Gladstone's letter a determina- 
tion not to adopt the second amendment. 

Mr. Labouchere, industrious, indomitable, did not despair. 

All was not lost as long as the Bill awaited the second 

Disappoint- reading. If Mr. Gladstone would only announce 

ment. intention of dropping the Bill after its broad 
principle had been approved by a vote on the second 
reading, it might be brought up again next Session, with 
reconstruction of the 24th and 39th Clauses meeting the 
objection of Mr. Chamberlain and his friends. On such 
understanding the fifty -five Radicals who followed Mr. 
Chamberlain would vote for the second reading, crisis would 
be averted, the Ministry would be saved, the Session might 
be appropriated for other business, and the work approached 
on safer grounds in 1887. 



1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



187 



On the eve of the motion for the second reading, Mr. 
Labouchere believed he had Mr. Gladstone's definite and 
distinct assurance that he would take this course. It is 
difficult to believe that so shrewd a man, one so well versed 
in affairs, can have been deceived on this important point. 
What happened in the interval between Mr. Labouchere's 
last message from the Premier and the delivery of the speech 
in the House of Commons ? Perhaps if Mr. Parnell were 
alive and in communicative mood, he might tell. However 
it be, when the Premier rose to move the second reading of 
the Home Rule Bill the Radicals below the Gangway sat 
straining their ears for the promised words of concession 
and conciliation. They were not spoken, and when Mr. 
Gladstone resumed his seat it was felt that all was over. It is 
easy to be wise after the event, and every one, not excepting 
Mr. Gladstone, had early occasion to perceive 
how fatal and irrevocable was the error com- 
mitted on this memorable day. Had the 
Premier followed the lines laid down for him, 
understood to have been accepted by him, 
the history of England during the last twelve 
years would have greatly varied in the writing. 

The member deputed by Mr. Chamberlain 
to follow Mr. Gladstone, and accept the flag 
of truce he was expected to hold out, was 
Sir Lewis Mclver, then Radical member for 
Torquay, a member who, in a quiet, effective 
way, had much to do with the Radical revolt 
against the Bill. Mr. Labouchere, through 
the Whip, sent Mr. Gladstone a message on 
the Treasury Bench to inform him that the 
ambiguity of his phrase had wrought final and 
fatal mischief Mr. Gladstone privily replied 
that he had meant it to be clearly under- 
stood that the Irish members were to sit at sm lewis mciver. 
Westminster. Somehow or other the accus- 
tomed master of plain English had failed to make himself 
understood. Prepared to yield, he wanted things to look as 



i88 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



little as possible like surrender, and so the opportunity of 
building the golden bridge sped. Mr. Gladstone suggested 
that Lord Herschell should have an interview with Mr. 
Chamberlain, when all would be explained. Mr. Chamber- 
lain hotly replied that he would have no more negotiation, 
but would vote against the Bill. 

At a meeting of the Liberal Party, held at the Foreign 
Office on the 27th of May, the second reading debate being 
The Foreign Still in progress, Mr. Gladstone said what he 
Office Meeting, surprisingly omitted to say on moving the second 
reading. He asserted in the most emphatic manner the 
supremacy of the Imperial Legislature, and promised to 
frame a plan that would entitle Irish members to sit and 
vote at Westminster when Imperial questions arose, or when 
any proposal for taxation affecting the condition of Ireland 

was submitted. He even offered 
to withdraw the Bill before going 
to a second reading. 

These were the points of his 
concession. Wrapped up in a 
speech an hour long, they still had 
about them a disquieting air of 
mistiness. Desiring to put the 
matter in a nutshell, Mr. Whit- 
bread, at the conclusion of the 
speech, rose and said, " Then we 
understand that the Irish will sit 
at Westminster ? " 

"Mr. Gladstone positively glared 
upon his interrogator " (I quote from the private notes of a 
member who was present). " ' I do not,' he said, ' under- 
stand the technicalities of drafting, so I will read again 
what I am prepared to do.' Then he re-read the passage 
laboriously turned so that it might appear that, whilst 
conceding the demands of Chamberlain and his party, he 
was really doing nothing more than what he had con- 
templated from the first, the alterations in the Bill being 
quite immaterial. In short, having been right in proposing 




MR. WHITBREAD. 



1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



189 



Too Late I 



that Irish members should not sit at Westminster, he was 
equally right in now promising that they should." 

Four days later a meeting of the Radical Party was held 
in one of the Committee-rooms of the House of Commons 
in order to decide what course they should adopt 
in the approaching division. Rarely has so 
momentous a meeting been held under the roof of the Palace 
at Westminster. These fifty-five men held the fate of the 
Government in their hands. If they voted with Mr. Glad- 
stone, the second reading of the Home Rule Bill would be 
triumphantly carried. If they abstained, it would creep 
through and the Ministry would be saved. If they voted 
against it, the Bill must go and the Ministry with it. 

All this was clear enough. None in the room, nor any 
waiting at the doors to hear the decision, had the slightest 
forecast of the momentous events hanging on their decision : 
changes amounting to a revolution of English political 
parties, accompanied by far- 



reaching 



at 



consequences 
home and abroad. 

Mr. Chamberlain submit- 
ted the issue in a speech 
which one present tells me 
was a model of judicial im- 
partiality. There were open 
to them, he said, the familiar 
three courses. They might 
vote for the Bill ; they might 
vote against it ; they might 
abstain from the division 
lobby. He advocated no one 
of the three, confining himself 
to the task of summarising 
the consequences that would 
severally follow. He sug- 
gested that in coming to a decision the process of the 
second ballot should be adopted. 

On the first division of the fifty-five members present 




JOSEPH ADDRESSING HIS BRETHREN. 
A HISTORICAL FRAGMENT. 



190 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

three voted in favour of the Bill, thirty-nine against it, 
thirteen electing to abstain. On a second vote, the three 
who had voted in favour of the Bill stood by their guns. 
Of the abstainers nine went over to the stalwarts, and the 
die was cast. 

Shortly after the stroke of one o'clock on the morning of 
8th June 1886 the House divided, and a second reading was 
Division on f^^^sed the Home Rule Bill by 343 votes against 
tiie Second 3 I 3, Of the majority there were 250 Conserva- 
"'^' tives and 93 Dissentient Liberals, Of these 
last fifty-five were followers of Mr. Chamberlain, thirty- 
eight men whom on other platforms and in times not long 
past they angrily denounced as Whigs. They were now 
united under a common flag, and have to this day, with few 
notable defections, remained in unity. 

It is important to note that the two sections came 
together for the first time in avowed alliance at a meeting 
held at Devonshire House on the 14th of May 1886, some 
time after the secret negotiations with Mr. Gladstone, con- 
ducted exclusively with Mr. Chamberlain's section. I have 
the best reason to know that these began and ended without 
the personal knowledge of Lord Hartington and his inner 
council. 

On referring to Annals of Ojir Time, I find under date 
31st May 1886 that the figures in the divisions taken at 
Mr. BrigJit's ^^e fateful meeting of Radical Dissentients, pre- 
Letter. sided ovcr by Mr. Chamberlain on the eve of the 
second reading, slightly vary from my account. It was 
rumoured in the Lobby of the House of Commons that 
fifty-four members met ; that three declared for the second 
reading ; twelve would abstain ; and that thirty-eight were 
in favour of voting against it. This, it will be observed, 
accounts for only fifty-three. The figures I give are supplied 
by a member who took a leading part in the revolt. 

"A great impression," it is written in \he. Annals,^' vjaiS 
made by a letter from Mr. Bright, who stated that though 
he would not speak he would vote against the Bill." I have 
had communicated to me some curious particulars about that 



1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



191 



unpublished letter, the importance of which upon the history 
of the country can scarcely 
be exaggerated. In those 
troubled times, on the eve 
of the dissolution of life- 
long friendships, one sur- 
passing all, Mr. Bright, could 
not bring himself to resume 
his attendance at the House 
of Commons. He spent his 
evenings at the Reform 
Club, an arrangement being 
made that Mr. W. S. Caine, 
who acted as Whip of the 
inchoate party, should see 
him every evening about 
nine o'clock, and report pro- 
gress. The final meeting of 
the Chamberlainites having 
been decided upon — by a 
striking coincidence it was 




MR. CAINE KEEPING MR. BRIGHT ADVISED. 



held in Committee-room No. 15, at 
a later stage famous in connection 
with another episode of the Irish 
question — Mr. Caine saw Mr. Bright, 
and begged him to attend it. Mr. 
Bright declined, but agreed to write 
a letter that might be read at the 
gathering. After it had been read 
it was destroyed, no copy being 
kept. There was a report current 
at the time that an enterprising 
journal offered Mr. Caine .^100 for 
the text of the letter. 

Mr. Bright was not permitted 
to receive exclusive in- j^e Friendly 
formation from Mr. Caine Broker, 
of what was going forward at this crisis. Mr. Labouchere, 




THE FRIENDLY BROKER. 



192 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

the friendly broker throughout the whole business, posted off 
to the Reform Club as soon as he heard the decision arrived 
at by the Radical meeting on the 31st of May. 

" What have they done ? " eagerly asked Mr. Bright, as 
he entered. 

" They have resolved to vote against the Bill," said Mr. 
Labouchere. 

According to Mr. Labouchere's account of this interview, 
given at the time to a friend who permits me to use his 
notes, Mr. Bright expressed regret at this conclusion. The 
purport of Mr. Bright's letter was that, whilst he distrusted 
the compromise Mr. Gladstone was at this date prepared to 
make — to withdraw the Bill after the second reading, re- 
introducing it the following Session amended in the direction 
of the views of Lord Hartington and Mr. Chamberlain — he 
would fall in with whatever conclusion the meeting arrived 
at. That is the summary of the letter given by one 
who heard it read at the meeting. Mr. Labouchere, on 
the contrary, was under the impression that Mr. Bright 
announced his intention to vote against the Bill. Mr. 
Labouchere reminding him that he had earlier stated he 
would abstain from voting, Mr. Bright answered that he had 
been grossly insulted in public by Mr, Sexton, an incident 
in his long connection with Ireland which had decided him 
finally to break with the Nationalist party. 

Mr. Labouchere, who suspected that only a portion of 
the letter had been read to the meeting, asked Mr. Bright 
to give him a copy for publication. Mr. Bright consented 
to the publication, but said he had kept no copy. Mr. 
Caine arriving at this moment, Mr. Bright said, " Give 
Labouchere my letter to go to the papers." Mr. Caine had 
already destroyed it. 

This narrative of the inner history of the historical 

epoch, compiled from letters and oral communications made 

Who killed ^^ ^^ from leading members in the various 

Cock Robin? camps, will enable the judicious reader to form 

his own opinion as to who killed the Home Rule Bill. 

" Who defeated the Bill ? " one of the fifty-five meeting 



iSgS 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



193 



in Committee- room No. 15, still a trusted member of the 
Unionist party, writes. He answers himself with ascending 
notes of admiration, preserved from his text : " Hussey 
Vivian ! W. S. Caine ! ! Winterbotham ! ! ! George Tre- 
velyan ! ! ! ! These, following in succession with bitter non- 
surrender speeches, turned the feeling which Chamberlain's 
speech had left in a condition of icy impartiality." 

" The man who was bitterest against any compromise," 
writes another leading member of the fifty -five, who has 
since found salvation, " and 
was most determined that the 
Bill should be thrown out, 
was not Bright, but George 
Trevelyan, who made a vehe- 
ment speech, which undoubtedly 
settled the line the meeting 
took." 

A third correspondent, go- 
ing back earlier to the date of 
the first negotiation conducted 
by Mr. Labouchere between 
Downing Street and Prince's 
Gardens, writes : " It having 
leaked out that negotiations 
were going forward on the 
basis of retaining Irish members at Westminster, and in 
other directions securing the supremacy of the British Parlia- 
ment, Parnell went storming down to Downing Street, about 
two o'clock on the Saturday afternoon before the second 
reading speech, and knocked the whole arrangement into 
pie." 




STORMING DOWN TO DOWNING STREET. 



o 



CHAPTER XVI 

AUGUST 

When the world grew accustomed to the near prospect of 

Mr. Gladstone's retirement from the Premiership there was 

. , curious inquiry as to how long previous to its 

Mr. Glad- -^ ' , , o i 

stone's ResJg. disclosurc the determination had been reached, 
nation. j-^j^ -^^ Gladstone mean to resign the Premier- 
ship when he set out for Biarritz ? If so, were his colleagues 
in the Cabinet aware of the fact ? 

I recently had opportunity of making inquiry on the 
point, and found the momentous decision was arrived at 
shortly after the defeat of the Home Rule Bill, and was 
made known to his colleagues in the Cabinet some time 
before he set out on the journey to Biarritz. There are 
some among them who retain the conviction that for Mr. 
Gladstone's dignity and the appropriate rounding off of his 
illustrious career it would have been more appropriate that 
he should have quitted the stage when the curtain fell on 
his last great drama. To go pottering along with the 
Parish Councils Bill in their opinion partook something of 
the nature of an anti- climax. It was whilst struggling 
under the burden of this Bill that he dropped the first hint 
of necessity for retirement. It was characteristic of him 
that, having one time gone so far as directly and unmis- 
takably to announce his decision, he shrank from its ful- 
filment. 

There is a delightful and true story of a Cabinet dinner 

194 



1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



195 



that may some day be told in fuller detail than is permissible 
here. A Cabinet dinner is distinct in several a surprise 
ways from a Cabinet Council. At the latter Dinner, 
the Sovereign presumably presides, and all proceedings are 
conducted with strict routine, surrounded by an impenetrable 
wall of secrecy. Though in these days the Sovereign no 
longer attends Cabinet Councils, her communication with it 
is closely maintained, the Prime Minister sending to her at 
the close of each sitting a full account of what has taken 
place. The Cabinet dinner, at which much important work 
is often done, is established on more informal, not to say 
more convivial, lines. 

A short time after the Home Rule Bill was thrown out, 
Mr. Gladstone issued invitations for a Cabinet dinner. It 
was understood that the occasion was specially devised in 
order that he might make a final announcement of his pend- 
ing resignation. The guests assembled in the subdued mood 
proper to the melancholy event. Conversation on ordinary 
topics flagged whilst the dinner dragged on. At length a 
noble lord, specially in Mr. 
Gladstone's favour and confi- 
dence, ventured to ask the 
host whether it was not time 
the servants left the room. 

" Why ? " said Mr. Glad- 
stone, turning quickly upon 
him with the glowing glance 
sometimes flashed upon an 
interlocutor. " Have you 
anything private to say ? " 

The embarrassed Coun- 
cillors thus learned that since 
the dinner invitations were 
issued, possibly since he had 
entered the room, Mr. Glad- 
stone had changed his mind about taking the irrevocable 
step, and indefinitely deferred its announcement. 

It did not come for at least a fortnight later. But it 




A GLOWING GLANCE. 



196 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



Who told? 



pre-dated his departure for Biarritz. When he set out on 
that journey, his colleagues in the Cabinet knew 
that his Ministerial career would close with the 
dying Session. They loyally kept the secret, which was 
not disclosed from London. Who betrayed it to the 
advantage of an evening newspaper is one of the minor 
mysteries of the piece. When I think of it, I recall Miss 
Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler's words of wisdom — 

A woman's tongue is ever slow- 
To tell the thing she does not know. 



Lord Playfair. 



The late Lord Playfair's ^ occupation of the Chair in 
Committees was contemporaneous with the wildest Parlia- 
mentary orgies of modern times. Those were 
the days of the Bradlaugh scenes, of the growth 

and full vigour of the 
Fourth Party, of Mr. Par- 
nell in his prime, with Mr. 
Biggar in the proud flush 
of his imitation sealskin 
waistcoat. On the whole, 
Dr. Lyon Playfair, as he 
then was, did tolerably 
well. But he was sorely 
tried. There was some- 
thing righteously impres- 
sive in his manner when, 
rising to full height and 
adjusting his spectacles, he 
invested with Scotch accent 
the familiar cry of " Order! 
Order ! " 

It once fell to Dr. 
Playfair's lot to "name" 
twenty-five Irish members 
right off. He also took part in the more historic all-night 

1 Died 1898. 




THE LATE LORD PLAYFAIR. 



1898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 197 

sittings which led to the suspension of thirty-seven members, 
including Mr. Parnell. That was the occasion when the 
House, meeting on a Monday to debate the question of 
leave to introduce a Protection Bill, uninterruptedly sat 
till Wednesday. At midnight on Tuesday the worn-out 
Speaker left the Chair, and Dr. Playfair, acting as Deputy 
Speaker, took it, remaining at his post all night. The 
hapless Chairman had to struggle not only with the Irish 
members, but with the Leaders of the Opposition, who 
had no patience with his long-suffering. Thirsting for the 
blood of Mr. Parnell, they insisted that he should be 
" named." Dr. Playfair declining to accede to the request, 
Sir Stafford Northcote, Sir M. Hicks -Beach, and his col- 
leagues on the front bench rose and, shaking the dust of the 
House from off" their feet, quitted its precincts. There was 
a suspicion at the time that this was a cunningly devised 
scheme whose principal object was to secure a night's rest 
without the appearance of neglecting duty. But it was a 
little hard on a sufficiently battered Chairman. 

At nine o'clock on the Wednesday morning the Speaker 
returned, peremptorily stopped Mr. Biggar, who was on his 
legs, and for the first time in Parliamentary history put the 
closure in force. 

In considering Dr. Playfair's career as Chairman of 
Ways and Means, there should be taken into account the 
fact that not only did he live in stormy times, but the Chair 
was unprotected by those disciplinary rules which now 
fortify it. Speaker and Chairman alike were ludicrously at 
the mercy of astute practitioners, whether they sat in the 
Irish camp or were ranged in the scanty column of the 
Fourth Party. But Lord Playfair had no claim to be 
regarded as a great Parliament man, whether in the Chair 
or out of it. When he took part in debate he learned his 
speeches off by heart, and delivered them much as if he 
were addressing the audience in a lecture-room. His most 
successful speech was reeled off in the course of debate 
arising on the sale of margarine. There the ex-Professor 
was at home, charming and instructing a crowded House. 



198 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



When he sat down members felt they knew more about 
margarine than ever they had dreamt about butter. 

Mr. Plimsoll/ who survived Lord Playfair only a few 

days, was the hero of one of the most dramatic scenes ever 

"PiimsoJi's vvitnessed in the House of Commons. It broke 

Mark." the almost somnolent peace of the second Session 

of the Parliament that saw Disraeli in power as well as 

in office. The Government had been induced to bring in a 

Merchant Shipping Bill. It did 
not arouse enthusiasm in Minis- 
terial circles, and as the end 
of the Session approached was 
quietly displaced by a measure 
dealing with agricultural hold- 
ings. The Premier having an- 
nounced its abandonment, Mr. 
Plimsoll passionately interposed, 
entreating Disraeli " not to con- 
sign some thousands of men to 
death." In the excitement of 
the moment he rose to address 
the House from the cross bench 
before the chair of the Serjeant- 
at-Arms. That is, technically, 
out of the House, and he was 
committing a breach of order 
in endeavouring to speak from 
it. Amid stormy cries of 
" Order," he went on shouting 
at the top of his voice. 

" Name ! Name ! " shocked 
rnembers cried, meaning that 
Mr. Plimsoll should be " named " for disorderly conduct. He, 
mistaking their intent, cried out, " Oh, I'll give names ! " 
Rushing forward into the midst of the House, wildly gesticu- 
lating, he pointed at a well-known shipowner sitting behind 
the Treasury Bench, and reading out a long list of ships 

1 Died 1898. 




MR. PLIMSOLL S OUTBURST. 



1898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 199 

lost at sea, gave notice that he would ask the President of 
the Board of Trade whether those ships belonged to the 
member whom he named. 

The turmoil now reached stormy heights. Members on 
both sides added to it by shouting " Order ! Order ! " Mr. 
Plimsoll, ordinarily the mildest-mannered of men, developed 
a strange passion for standing on one leg, perhaps dimly 
feeling that that was only half as bad as standing on two in 
the middle of the House, where no member should halt 
when the Speaker is in the Chair. First he stood on the 
right leg, then on the left, shaking his fist impartially at the 
Speaker, the Premier, and at the ship-owning member whom 
he denounced. 

" I am determined," he cried, his voice audible amid the 
uproar, " to unmask the villain who sent these men to their 
graves." 

It was all very wrong. Mr. Plimsoll was compelled to 
apologise. But Disraeli, a keen judge of signs of the times, 
found it necessary to set aside all other work in order 
to add the Merchant Shipping Bill to the Statute-book. 
Formal notification of Mr. Plimsoll's indiscretion is written 
in the journals of the House. At the same time he wrote 
with indelible ink his mark on the side of every vessel that 
carries the British flag, and the overloading of ships, whether 
criminal or careless, became a thing of the past. 

The fine portrait of the ex-Speaker (Lord Peel), which has 
formed a principal attraction of the Royal Academy this season, 
was painted for addition to the unique collection in j^e Peei 
Speaker's House at Westminster. In the stately Portrait. 
dining-room hang counterfeit presentments of Speakers from 
earliest Parliamentary times. By a curious accident Lord 
Peel's portrait will not hang in the same room with the long 
line of his predecessors in the Chair. It is too big for the 
place. When Mr. Orchardson, R.A., undertook the commis- 
sion, he sent a man down to measure the allotted space. 
Through some miscalculation the canvas was planned on too 
large a scale. The picture completed and sent down to 



200 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

Speaker's House to await the opening of the Academy, the 
mistake was discovered. The bold British workmen in 
charge of the treasure were equal to the emergency. The 
picture was too large for the wall. The wall could not be 
extended, but the canvas might be cut down. They were 
preparing to carry out this simple design when the opportune 
entrance of a member of Mr. Gully's household discovered 
the intent and frustrated it. The picture in its untrimmed 
proportions will, as soon as it is returned from the Academy, 
be hung in a room adjoining that in which the other portraits 
stare from the walls at successive groups of Her Majesty's 
Ministers once a year dining in full dress with the Speaker. 

Amongst other claims to distinction Mr. Orchardson is 
the only man, not being a member of the House of 
"Movin th Commons, who ever "moved the Speaker into 
Speaker into the Chair." In this particular case it was an ex- 
Speaker. That is a mere detail, not affecting 
the unique distinction. Lord Peel, after the ordinary 
fashion, gave sittings to the artist at his studio. It was 
necessary to the completeness of the situation that the 
ex-Speaker, arrayed in wig and gown, should be seated in 
the Chair of the House of Commons. The Chair could not 
be spared for transport to Portland Place, even if it were 
practicable to move it. When the work was nearly finished. 
Lord Peel made tryst with the artist at the House of 
Commons, and there Mr. Orchardson literally " moved him 
into the Chair." 

A curious incident befell during the operation. One 

morning a member of the Press Gallery on duty in one of 

. . the Committee-rooms, bethought him of a paper 

An unrecorded ' ° r" f 

Sitting in the he had left in his drawer in the Gallery of the 
House of Commons. Proceeding thither he was 
amazed, even shocked, on glancing down from behind the 
Speaker's Chair to observe a newspaper held in an unseen 
hand projecting from the edge of the sacred piece of furniture ! 
Was it possible that one of the workmen — peradventure the 
charwoman — suspending his (or her) labours, handsomely 
remunerated by a vote on the Civil Service Estimates, was 



1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



201 



lolling in the Speaker's Chair reading the morning news- 
paper ? 

Moving softly towards the left so as to come in full side 
view of the Chair, the startled Pressman discovered Mr. 
Orchardson sitting at his easel, quietly working away at his 
picture, whilst Lord Peel sat in the Chair occupied by him 
through twelve memorable Sessions, reading his Times. 

Out of the artist's studio the portrait was first seen by 
House of Commons men on the occasion of Mrs. Gully's 
" At Homes " in the early weeks of the present j^e Picture as 
Session. Among the company gathered round « Portrait, 
it on both nights it was astonishing to find how few there 
were to praise. It might be a picture, they said, but it was 
no portrait. Particular objection was taken to the alleged 
fact that the Speaker had only one eye. Some one, probably 
Mr. Caldwell, having " caught " the other, had permanently 
appropriated it. 

That and other seeming defects were attributable simply 
to the height at which the picture 
was hung. Spectators were fain 
to throw back the head and look 
up at it, thus getting curious and 
fatal foreshortening effect. 

A similar drawback attached 
to Lord Randolph Churchill's bust 
when placed in the corridor lead- 
ing to the central lobby of the 
House of Commons. It was stuck 
on a pedestal at least a foot too 
high. When Lord Randolph was 
still with us, in the flesh, men were 
not accustomed to regard him from 
the point of view of looking up at 
his chin and nostrils — except, in- 
deed, on the historic occasion 
when, on the defeat of Mr. Glad- 
stone's Government on the 8th of June 1885, ^^ jumped 
on the corner seat below the gangway and, uproariously 




THE BUST OF LORD RANDOLPH 
CHURCHILL. 



202 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



cheering, wildly waved his hat. Much disappointment was 
expressed, a feeling that will be removed when the authorities 
consent to place a really clever work of art in a suitable 
position. Lord Peel's portrait being hung on the line at 
the Academy became quite another thing. It is not only 
a great painting worthy of an old master — it is the living 
portrait of a great man. When Lord Randolph's bust is 
dropped a foot in height it will be equally advantaged. 

It is striking evidence of the intuition of genius that Mr. 
Orchardson has preserved the look of Speaker Peel on one 

of those not infrequent 
occasions during his tur- 
bulent times when he only 
partially succeeded in re- 
pressing feelings of stormy 
indignation. The R.A. was 
not, for example, present 
when Mr. Peel admonished 
the Cambrian Railway 
directors, for breach of 
privilege in their dealing 
with a station-master who 
had given embarrassing 
evidence before a Select 
Committee of the House 
of Commons. Nor did he 
a year later see and hear 




THE EX-SPKAKEK — SCATHING INDIGNATION. 



him turn and rend Mr. 
Conybeare, who, in supplement of newspaper attacks on the 
Speaker, had for weeks kept on the paper an offensive 
resolution directed against him. Yet looking at the portrait, 
memory recalls the spectacle of the affrighted directors at 
the Bar, as Mr. Peel " admonished " them. Or one can 
hear him as, trembling in every fibre with indignation, he 
rose to full height and, turning upon the member for Cam- 
bourne seated below the gangway, with head hung down 
arms sullenly folded, thundered forth, " And now, forsooth ! 
under the guise of performing a public duty, he charges 



1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



203 



me with the grossest offence possible to a man in my 
position." 

Mr. Orchardson saw neither of these things, and yet 
he has preserved for all time Mr. Speaker Peel as he then 
looked. 



Through the Session the House of Lords meet four days 
a week at four o'clock in the afternoon. The doors are not 
open till a quarter past four, the interval under- j^e Lords at 
stood to be occupied by their lordships in Prayer, 
devotion. As a matter of fact, it often happens that during 
this period the House is empty and silent. The House 
sometimes sits in its 
capacity as the final 
Court of Appeal. In 
such case it is regarded 
as an ordinary meeting 
of the House. In the 
morning the Lord Chan- 
cellor takes his seat on 
the Woolsack with cus- 
tomary ceremony, and 
the proceedings open 
with prayer. When the 
judicial business is 
finished the House does 
not adjourn. The sitting 
is " suspended," being re- 
sumed at the customary 
hour in the afternoon. 
But there are no more 

THE LORD CHANCELLOR QUIETLY DROPS IN. 

prayers, nor does the 

Lord Chancellor again enter in State, quietly dropping in 

from the doorway by the Throne to take his seat on the 

Woolsack. 

The identity of the House of Lords sitting as a Court 
of Appeal and as a legislative assembly is perfect in theory. 
In the great betting appeal case, which came before the 




204 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

House in May, the whole body of peers — six Princes of the 
Blood, two archbishops, twenty -two dukes, twenty -two 
marquises, 121 earls, thirty viscounts, twenty-four bishops, 
387 barons, sixteen Scottish and twenty-eight Irish repre- 
sentative peers — might, had they pleased, have met to take 
part in deciding the momentous question, " What is a 
place ? " The late Lord Denman, jealous of the privileges 
of a peer, on one occasion not only insisted upon his right 
to sit in an appeal case, but ventured to offer a few observa- 
tions in supplement of the judgment of the learned lords. 
He did not repeat the experiment. 

The Court of Appeal is ordinarily composed of the Lord 
Chancellor for the time being, and other peers who have sat 
on the Woolsack or the judicial Bench, or have served as 
Law Officers of the Crown. The most frequent attendants 
are Lord Ashbourne, Lord Herschell, Lord Watson, Lord 
Hobhouse, Lord Macnaghten, Lord Shand, Lord Davey, and 
Lord James of Hereford. What these pundits do not know 
about law is, perhaps, not worth mentioning. 

Up to a recent period, it was the custom for the junior 
bishop last admitted to a seat in the House of Lords daily 
The youngest ^o officiate at praycr-timc. It was Dr. Ridding, 
Bishop strikes, the Bishop of Southwcll, who freed the neck of 
the youngest bishop from this intolerable yoke. The newly- 
appointed Bishop of Southwell was son-in-law of Lord 
Selborne, at the time Lord Chancellor. He effectively 
pleaded his hard case, and at the instance of the Lord 
Chancellor a new arrangement was made whereby the 
bishops take weekly turns at prayer-time. As there are 
twenty-four of them, it does not often happen that a bishop 
gets more than one turn in a Session. 

Once a clergyman always a clergyman is an old saying, 

meaning that a man admitted to holy orders cannot divest 

"The Hon ^^i^^self of them. This particularly affects 

and Reverend reverend gentlemen so far as the House of 

Member." ^ . i • .1 i. cc 

Commons is concerned, smce they may not oner 
themselves as Parliamentary candidates. Nevertheless, there 



1898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 205 

is in the present House at least one member ' who has been 
in the Church, and who, having left it, availed himself of a 
recent statute to clear his disability. He was, indeed, rector 
of a plump parish, and proudly preserves the record that he 
restored its church at an outlay of ^10,000. I rather fancy 
that early in his rectorial career his attention was diverted 
by the attraction of dogs. There is no reason why a parish 
parson shall not keep a dog or two. When it comes to 
three hundred, the number seems to exceed the area of the 
pale of the Church. 

The rector was a born dog-fancier, with hereditary skill 
in training, and to this day is the proud possessor of a 
multitude of prize medals, gold and otherwise. He may 
possibly have begun to drift away from the Church drawn 
by the dogs. What directly decided his fate was an 
accident in the discharge of his rectorial functions. Being 
called upon to officiate at a wedding, he, somehow or other, 
married the wrong man. How it came about is not at this 
day clearly explained. Probably, whilst the bridegroom- 
elect was of a retiring disposition, the best man was what 
in politics is called of pushful tendencies. However that 
be, when the ceremony was over and the rector was 
benevolently regarding his handiwork, his error was pointed 
out to him. 

It was very awkward ; but nothing could be better than 
the conduct of the whole party. Above all things they 
desired to save their beloved pastor from annoyance, so they 
frankly accepted the situation. The best man went off with 
the bride. What became of the bridegroom, and what 
relations he subsequently held with the unexpectedly estab- 
lished household, I have never heard. 

Sir John Brunner modestly disclaims the sole conception 
of the idea with which, at the outbreak of the Hispano- 
American War, he fascinated the civilised world. ^ private 
His suggestion was that, instead of the Great ironclad. 
Powers each having its own Navy, adding vastly to national 

^ Mr. Macdona. 



2o6 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 




taxation by systematic competition, they should provide out 

of a joint purse two Navies of 
equal strength, hiring them 
out to any two nations bent 
upon fighting. Sir John tells 
me the germ of the idea lies 
in a proposal once actually 
made to him by a well-known 
naval constructor. He wanted 
Sir John to give him a com- 
mission to build an ironclad 
as his private property. Sir 
John pointed out that he did 
not particularly want an iron- 
clad. But the naval con- 
structor demonstrated that, 
regarded strictly as an investment, it was better even than 
Brunner Mond ordinary shares at par. 

" You never know from day to day," he said, " what may 
turn up. War may break out to-morrow, when up goes the 
price of ironclads. You sell out ; clear a little fortune." 

The prospect was alluring, but nothing practical came of 
the interview. Sir John had nowhere to put the ironclad, 
the space at the back of the houses in Ennismore Gardens 
being limited. "And," as he remarked, "you can't leave an 
ironclad in your hall as if it were a bicycle." The events 
of the spring showed the naval constructor was right. If 
Sir John Brunner had last April chanced to have had an 
ironclad in stock, he could have sold it at his own price 
either to Spain or the United States. 



SIR JOHN brunner: "no thanks, I 

don't, WANT ANY IRONCLADS TO-DAY." 



CHAPTER XVII 



SEPTEMBER 




More than four years have elapsed since, viewing the House 
of Commons from behind 
the Speaker's Chair, 
A vacant o^e's glance 
Place. instinctively 
turned to, and lingered 
upon, the noble figure 
on the Treasury Bench ^of®/^ 
seated opposite the brass- W-9^^ 
bound box. No man is (^]jrj\^'' 
indispensable to man- 
kind. But in the interval 
since, on the ist of March 
1894, Mr. Gladstone 
finally walked out of 
the House of Commons, 
members have frequently 
had occasion to realise 
how irreparable is their 
loss. When he spoke, 
he uplifted debate from 
whatever rut of medio- 
crity it may have fallen 
into. That was the 
power of the orator. When he sat silent, his mere presence 
communicated to the House a sense of dignity and a 

207 




WALKING OUT FOR THE LAST TIME. 



208 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



moral strength easier to feel than to describe. That was 

the quality of the 
man, 

I do not propose 
to attempt to add 
to the far-sounding 
tribute of applause 
and admiration 
which resounded 
over the death -bed 
and the grave of the 
great Englishman.^ 
I have, rather, strung 
together some re- 
miniscences such as 
may be discreetly 
withdrawn from a 
record of personal 
association with 
which I was for some 
years honoured. 
One day at luncheon at Dalmeny, during the campaign 

of 1885, Mr. Gladstone turned the conversation upon Punch 
\ Punch work, showing keen interest in the Wednesday 
Dinner. dinner, and in the personnel of the staff. A year 

or two later, when, being in Opposition, he was at fuller 

leisure, I asked him to dinner to meet a few of my colleagues. 

He replied : — 

4 Whitehall Gardens, 
Nov. 14, '88. 

Dear Mr. Lucy — I thank you much for the invitation to join 
the goodly company to be assembled round your table on the nth 
of Dec. But I am living in hope of escape to the country before 
that date, and therefore I fear I am precluded from accepting your 
kind invitation. At the same time, if the dinner is in any case to come 
off, and if it were allowed me in the event of my being in or near 
London to offer myself, I should thankfully accept such a reservation. 
— Faithfully yours, W. E. Gladstone. 




HE TOOK A GREAT INTEREST IN PUNCH. 



1 Mr. Gladstone died 19th May 189S. 



1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



209 



failing shared by Lord 



The dinner came off in May of the following year. In 
addition to the editor and the artists of Punch, the company 
included Earl Granville and Lord Charles Beresford. Mr. 
Gladstone evidently enjoyed the company, and was in 
bounding spirits. We were all struck on this close view 
with surprise at his amazing physical and mental virility, at 
that epoch noted by every observer of the veteran statesman 
in public life. He had just entered upon that term of four- 
score years at which, according to the Psalmist, man's days 
are but labour and sorrow. Yet the only indications of 
advanced age were observable in increasing deafness and 
a slight huskiness of voice. 

Deafness was at this time a 
Granville. Talking to either, it was desirable to raise the 
voice above conversational level. Mr. Gladstone and Lord 
Granville, though separated by the breadth of the table, and 
both deaf, were able to make each other hear without 
exceptional effort in raising or modulating the voice. 

A notable thing about Mr. Gladstone's face at that date, 
a marvel to the end, was the brightness of his eyes. They 
were fuller, more un- 
clouded, than those of 
many a man under fifty. 
As he talked — and his 
talk was like the bubbling 
of an illimitable water- 
spring — the huskiness of 
his voice wore off. To 
every one's delight, he 
did most of the talking. 
But there was not then — 
nor on any other of the 
occasions when I have 
been privileged to sit 
within the circle of his 
company was there — any 
appearance of his monopolising conversation. As Du Maurier 
wittily said, he was " a most attractive listener." 




AN ATTRACTIVE LISTENER." 



2IO LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

He had never been in Du Maurier's company before, 
but took to him with quick appreciation and evident delight. 
Almost immediately after Du Maurier had been presented to 
him, the conversation turned upon Homer. For ten minutes 
Mr. Gladstone talked about Homer, with glowing glance 
and the deep, rich tones of voice that accompanied any 
unusual emotion. Homer, he insisted, evidently did not like 
Venus — Aphrodite, as Mr. Gladstone preferred to call her. 
He cited half-a-dozen evidences of Homer's distaste for a 
goddess usually fascinating to mankind. 

Pictures and artists he discussed, with special reference 
to the picture shows at the time open in London. He said 
he always liked to go round a picture-gallery in 
the company of an artist. 

" Artists," he said, " looking at a picture always see in it 
less to criticise, more to admire, than is possible to ordinary 
people. An artist sees more in a man's face than you or I 
can." 

For many years preceding his retirement to Hawarden, 
Mr. Gladstone was accustomed to make tryst with Sir 
William Agnew in the early morning of the opening of the 
Royal Academy. Sir William once told me he insisted upon 
seeing everything, his critical remarks upon the varied 
pictures being singularly acute. At the date of this 
dinner Mr. Gladstone had had his portrait painted not 
less than thirty-five times. How many times he has been 
photographed is a sum beyond even his power of com- 
putation. He spoke with warm admiration and esteem of 
Millais. 

" I have had the good fortune," he said, " to fall into the 
hands of a great artist, who made the minimum of demand 
upon my somewhat occupied time. Millais came to know 
me so well that sittings of five hours sufficed him for his 
most elaborate portrait, and this time I was able to give 
with real pleasure." 

" Is Millais, then, a charming companion when at his 
work ? " 

" Yes," said Mr. Gladstone, " but not only because he talks. 



i898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 211 

Just to watch him at his easel is a delight. He throws his 
whole heart and soul into his canvas." 

Talking about Mr. Bright, he spoke regretfully of the 
carelessness with which his old friend dealt with 

Mr. Bright. 

himself in the matter of health. 

"Bright," he said emphatically, "did nothing he should 
do to preserve his health, and everything he should not." 

If he had only been wise, and wise in time, there was, 
in Mr. Gladstone's opinion, no reason in the world why he 
should not, on that May Day 1889, have been alive, hale 
and strong. But he would never listen to advice about 
himself. Mr. Gladstone told a funny little story about his 
habits in this respect. Up to within a period of ten years 
preceding his death Mr. Bright had no regular, at least no 
recognised, medical attendant. There was some mysterious 
anonymous person to whom he occasionally went for advice, 
and of whom he spoke oracularly. 

" But," said Mr. Gladstone, with that curious approach to 
a wink that sometimes varied his grave aspect, " he would 
never tell his name." 

Somewhere about the year 1879 Mr. Bright surprised 
Sir Andrew Clark by one morning appearing in his consulta- 
tion-room. Sir Andrew, who knew all about his eccentricities 
in the manner of medical attendance, asked him how it was 
he came to see him. 

" Oh," said Mr. Bright, " it's Gladstone. He never will 
let me rest about the state of my health." 

Long neglect had irretrievably wrought mischief, but 
Mr. Bright acknowledged the immense benefit derived from 
following the directions of Mr. Gladstone's friend and 
physician, and nothing more was heard of the anonymous 
doctor. 

Mr. Gladstone seems to have been always on the look- 
out for opportunity to give a little friendly advice to Mr. 
Bright. One thing he strongly recommended sleeping 
was never to think of political affairs on getting Habits, 
into bed or immediately on waking in the morning. 

" I never do that," Mr. Gladstone said. " I never allow 



212 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1898 



myself to do it. In the most exciting political crises I 
absolutely dismiss current controversies from my mind when 

I get into bed. I will not 
take up the line of thought 
again till I am up and 
dressing in the morning. I 
told Bright about this. He 
said, ' That is all very well 
for you. But my way is 
exactly the reverse. I think 
over all my speeches when I 
am in bed.' " 

Like Sancho Panza, Mr. 
Gladstone had a great gift 
of sleep. Seven hours he 
insisted upon getting, " and," 
he added with a smile, " I 
should like to have eight. 
I detest getting up in the 
morning, and every morning 
I hate it just as sharply. 
But one can do everything 
by habit. When I have had my seven hours' sleep, my 
habit is to get out of bed." 

His memory was amazingly minute, more particularly for 
events that took place half a century ago. Oddly enough, 
An early whcre memory failed him was in the matter of 
Appreciation, human faces. This gift precious to, indispensable 
for, Princes was withheld from him. He told how some- 
where in the late thirties there lived in London a man with 
a system, now sunk into oblivion, by which he brought 
electricity to bear in the direction of reading character. 

" There were three faculties he told me wherein I was 
lacking," said Mr. Gladstone. " One of them was that I 
had no memory for faces ; I am sorry to say it was, and 
remains, quite true." 

It would have been interesting to hear what were the 
other two faculties absence of which the wise man detected. 




A LITTLE FRIENDLY ADVICE. 



1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



21 



Mr. Gladstone did not say. But forgetfulness of faces he 
admitted and lamented, probably recognising in the failing 
occasion of some personal misunderstandings. 

He talked a good deal about old Parliamentary days, 
lapsing into that gentle tone of charming reminiscence which 
on quiet Tuesday evenings or Friday nights ©id Days in 
sometimes delighted the House of Commons, the commons. 
One scene he recalled with as much ease and fulness of 
detail as if it had happened the week before. Its date was 
the 4th of June 1841. Sir 
Robert Peel had moved a resolu- 
tion of No Confidence in Her 
Majesty's Government. 

" You were there," said Mr. 
Gladstone, pointing eagerly across 
the table to Lord Granville. 
" You had not left the Commons 
then. Didn't you vote in the 
division ? " 

Lord Granville smilingly 
shook his head, and to Mr. Glad- 
stone's pained amazement posi- what! not remember it? it was 

, , , , , ONLY FORTY-EIGHT YEARS AGO. 

tively could not remember what 

had taken place in the House of Commons on a particular 
night sped forty-eight years earlier. To Mr. Gladstone the 
scene was as vivid as if it had taken place at the morning 
sitting he had quitted to join us at dinner. Naturally, as 
the issue of the pending division involved the fate of the 
Ministry, party passion ran high. Forces were so evenly 
divided that every member seemed to hold in the hollow 
of his hand the fate of the Ministry. 

" The Whips of those days," he observed parenthetically, 
" somehow or other seemed to know more precisely than 
they do now how a division would go. It was positively 
known that there would be a majority of one. On which 
side it would be was the only doubt. There was a member 
of the Opposition almost at death's door. He zvas dead," 
Mr. Gladstone added emphatically, "except that he had 




2 14 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

just a little breath left in him. The question was, could he 
be brought to the House ? The Whips said he must come, 
and so they carried him down. He was wheeled in in a 
Bath-chair. To this day I never forget the look on his face. 
His glassy eyes were upturned, his jaws stiff. We, a lot of 
young Conservatives clustered round the door, seeing the 
Bath-chair, thought at first they had brought down a corpse. 
But he voted, and the resolution which turned out Lord 
Melbourne's Government was carried by a majority of one." 

Mr. Gladstone did not affect that indifference to the 
written word in the newspapers with which Mr. Arthur Balfour 
The News. '^ equipped. He had his favourites among the 
papers. dailies and weeklies. Of the latter was for many 
years the Spectator^ a paper abandoned, as stated in a 
published record of private conversation, because in its new 
manner, soured by the Home Rule controversy, it " touched 
him on the raw." 

For many years I contributed a London Letter to the 
columns of a Liverpool paper, edited by my old friend and, 
as Mr. Pumblechook used to describe himself in connection 
with Pip, " early Benefactor," now Sir Edward Russell. Mr. 
Gladstone once surprised, and, I need hardly add, highly 
honoured me by saying that when in residence at Hawarden, 
the Liverpool Daily Post being the earliest paper to reach 
him, the first thing he turned to was the London Letter. 

"Dear Mr. Lucy," he writes under date Jan. 14, 1890 
— " I hope we may meet in town, and I can then speak to you 
more freely than I like to write respecting a gentleman with 
whom I have been intimate for thirty years, and in whose 
uprightness of intention I fully believe, but who has exposed 
himself deplorably by his last effusion to the Times. I had 
read your comparison with great interest where I read you 
daily, viz. in the Liverpool Daily Post." 

The gentleness and lingering affection with which Mr. 
Gladstone, even in the white heat of personal political con- 
History re- troversy, speaks of an old friend makes it possible 
peating Itself, to mention that the one he alludes to in this 
connection was the late Duke of Argyll. The comparison 



1898 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



215 



which attracted him was attempted to be established between 
himself in this year 1890 and Sir Robert Walpole in 1742. 
At the period Mr. Gladstone wrote Mr. Chamberlain had 
not finally made up his mind to throw in his lot with his old 




THE DUKE OF ARGYLL WKITES TO THE TIMES. 



foemen the Tories. He dreamed a dream of what he called 
"a National Party." In the article to which Mr. Gladstone 
refers it was pointed out that a hundred and fifty years 
earlier an almost exactly parallel case was set forth in 
English history. In 1742, at the close of a Ministry that 
had run a splendid career of twenty years, the factions 
arrayed against Sir Robert Walpole gained force sufificient to 
encourage his arch-enemies to strike the long-impending blow. 
The Opposition of the day was divided into two parties 
diametrically opposed to each other in political opinion, just 
as were the Dissentient Liberals and the Conservatives of 
1890. And as these latter were each all one in their hatred 
of Mr. Gladstone, so the manifold opposition of 1742 were 
united in animosity towards Walpole. 

" Hatred of Walpole," Macaulay writes, " was almost the 
only feeling common to them. On this one point they 



2i6 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

concentrated their whole strength. So much did they narrow 
the disputed ground, so purely personal did they make the 
question, that they threw out friendly hints to other members 
of the Administration, and declared that they refused quarter 
to the Prime Minister alone." 

By precision of coincidence the leading part in the cabal 
against Walpole was taken by the then Duke of Argyll, whose 
successor in the title a hundred and fifty years later took a 
leading part in the revolt against a greater than Walpole. 

In January 1886 I was called upon to undertake the 
Editorship of the leading Liberal paper in London. In 

j^g ordinary times the post is one involving incessant 
Daily News, labour and grave responsibility. But at least 
the party whose views are represented are pretty fairly 
decided as to what those views are, and moderately united 
in giving them expression. Within a few weeks of my 
assuming the Editorship, the Daily News was faced by the 
problem of taking instant decision as to whether it would 
stand by Mr. Gladstone in the matter of Home Rule, or 
whether it would join its colleagues of the Liberal Press 
which, without exception among London morning papers, 
went over to the other side. What happened is picturesquely 
set forth in the subjoined letter, one of the last, if not abso- 
lutely the last, written by Mr. Gladstone from the Premier's 
room in Downing Street : — 

10 Downing Street, Whitehall, 
March 5, '94. 

Dear Mr. Lucy — Though under very great pressure I must 
thank you for your kind letter. 

I must add a word to your statement of the solitude in which 
the Daily News took and gallantly maintained its post. I remember 
a day on which the Pall Mall Gazette under its clever, but queer, 
erratic Editor published an object-lesson of the field of battle on 
the Irish question. On one side were D.N and P.M.G — on the 
other the rest. I took my F.M.G., drew a noose round the fighting 
figure, and with a long line with a \ at the end of it, carried it over 
to the other side, and by this verifying process placed the support 
of the P.M.G. at its true value, and left D.N. occupying absolutely 
alone its place of honour. I hope my account is intelligible. — I 
remain, faithfully yours, W. E. Gladstone. 



1898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 217 

When the split in the Liberal Party occasioned by the 
Home Rule movement showed itself there was among other 
difficulties that of denominating the seceders "Dissentient 
from the main body of Liberals. The delicacy Liberals." 
of the situation was inci'eased by the natural desire of those 




WRITING A POST-CARD. 



concerned for the welfare of the Liberal Party not to widen 
the rift by use of opprobrious names. Otherwise there was a 
term ready to hand in the phrase applied by the Northerners 
when the Southern States withdrew from the Union. After 
much cogitation I hit upon the phrase " Dissentient Liberals," 
which, used in the leading columns of the Daily News^ became 
generally adopted. 

The following memorandum from Mr. Gladstone, written 
to me during the progress of the General Election of 1886, 
shows how anxious was his care in the matter : — 



I am really desirous that the newspapers should not go on 
representing as D.L. those who are distinctly L., like Talbot. If 
there is doubt about Sir H. Vivian, Villiers, and others, that ought 



2i8 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

rather to be given in our favour than against us. Further, the old 
division into Liberals and Tories ought to be regularly given, as 
well as the division into Irish and anti-Irish. At any rate, as soon 
as total L. overtops C, which at first it does not — but best, I think, 
without waiting for this. 

That phrase, " as soon as total L. overtops C," shows 
how sanguine he was up to the last that the country would 
respond to his appeal. As history records, the achievement 
was never completed, the poll finally made up showing the 
new House of Commons to consist of 317 Conservatives, 74 
Dissentient Liberals, 191 Liberals, and 84 Parnellites, leav- 
ing Mr. Gladstone in a hopeless minority of 116. 

Even with the fresh soreness of the wounding, Mr. Glad- 
stone habitually refrained from public resentment of the 
^r. Thanes who in 1886 fled from him. If occasion 
Chamberlain, arose to auswcr them in debate, he was even 
more than usually courteous in his address. 

There was one memorable occasion when he could not 
resist an invitation to fall upon and rend his severed friend. 
I am reminded of the incident by a post-card, here re- 
produced, as illustrating not only Mr. Gladstone's familiar 
use of this medium of communication, but his characteristic 
prevision in beginning at the very top in small handwriting, 
so that if the spirit moved him he might utilise every scrap 
of space. 

" One word of thanks, however hasty," he writes from 
I Carlton Gardens, April 12, 1892, "for the brilliant 
article. It had but one fault, that of excess with reference 
to the merits of the principal subject of it." 

The article alluded to appeared in the " Cross Bench " 
series of the Observer. It dealt with a memorable scene in 
the House on the 8th of April 1892, when, in the course 
of debate, Mr. Gladstone, rising without a note of prepara- 
tion, fell upon Mr. Chamberlain and belaboured him with 
effect all the greater since the onslaught was free from 
slightest display of brutal force. It is difficult to say on 
which side of the House the joy of the sport was more 
acutely felt and unreservedly displayed. There dwells still 



1898 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 219 

in the memory recollection of the scene in which the little 
comedy was set — the crowded House ; the laughing faces 
all turned upon the picturesque figure standing at the table ; 



k' If^c^d. U*^fi^ f6u.ac\ Htu^ 
CiU,u>^ kyiU<. t^e^ c^^^ '^^^^^ 



FACSIMILE OF ONE OF MR. GLADSTONE S POST-CARDS. 

Mr. Chamberlain gallantly trying to smile back on the 
benevolent visage turned upon him with just a flash of 
malice in the gleaming eyes ; and, that no touch might be 
missing to complete the perfectness of the scene, just behind 



220 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1898 

Mr. Chamberlain, sitting well forward on the bench with 
folded arms, and on his face a mechanical grin of perhaps 
qualified appreciation, Mr. Jesse Collings, " the hon. member 
for Bordesley, the faithful henchman of my right hon. friend, 
who would cordially re-echo that or any other opinion." 

Immediately after the result of the General Election of 

1886 was made known, Mr. Gladstone betook himself to 

A Holiday Hawarden and cheerfully entered on a quite new 

Task. field of labour, his ordinary fashion of seeking 

recreation. A letter dated December 18, 1886, gives an 

interesting peep at him holiday-making : — 

Dear Mr. Lucy — I read the article in the D.JV., and thought 
it clever, entertaining, and quite fair : the one in the P.M. Gazette, 
the secret of which I think I know, rather brutal. My ambition 
during my " holiday " has been to give eighteen hours a week out of 
seventy, or one-fourth, to the prosecution of a study of which the 
Olympian Religion is a central part. But the O.K. of your articles 
is not mine. Mine is the religion of the Homeric Poems, and a 
totally different affair. For thirty years I have had this on hand. 
But of this appropriation I have fallen very far short. It has been 
my maximum. 

You may like to have the enclosed, from a special correspondent 
of the Journal des Debuts. — Faithfully yours, 

W. E. Gladstone. 

The following letter, dated from Dollis Hill, April 28, 
1887, is interesting for its reference to Mr. 

Mr. Parnell's . i j-> •/ 

Offer to retire Pamell. there was communicated to the Daily 
from Political ^y^j^j- ^ report of a statement made by Mr. 

Gladstone at a dinner given by Mr. Armitstead. 
To this he alludes in the postscript : — 

Dear Mr. Lucy — i. Will you, if you think proper, print the 
enclosed letter from me as a reply to an Edinburgh Correspondent, 
and let it be posted ? 

2. Mr. W is an excellent man, but is behind the world. 

To the Eighty Club that I had long desired, and had made efforts 
for Liberal co-operation, outside the Irish question, but without effect. 

A poitited effort of that kind was made many weeks, nay, I think, 
several moftths, ago. — Yours faithfully, 
^u T^j- ;^ •, Ar W. E. Gladstone. 

The Editor, Daily News. 



iSgS LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 221 

The account given you of the Armitstead dinner goes beyond the 
mark, and evidently mixes the writer's impressions with my state- 
ment, which was simply that Mr. P. offered to retire from Parliament 
if I thought it right to desire it. I spoke from recollection. 

Paragraph 2 of this letter is a little obscure, suggesting 
accidental omission of a phrase. I give it as it was written. 
The fault is redeemed by the delightfully brief but perfect 

description of Mr. W , who is still alive, as excellent 

and as far behind the world as ever. I saw him looking 
reverently on from the fringe of the crowd of personal 
friends gathered in Westminster Hall round the bier of the 
lost Leader. 

Of all the touching episodes in the progress from the 
death-bed at Hawarden Castle to the graveside at Westminster 
Abbey, this last muster of old friends and ,„ yyest„i„ster 
colleagues round the coffin in Westminster Hall "»"• 
was the most pathetic, the grandest in its simplicity. When 
Eleanor, wife of Edward I., was borne from Lincoln to the 
same burial ground, her husband erected at various places 
Crosses to mark where she had rested on the way. For 
those present in Westminster Hall on Saturday, the 28th of 
May 1898, there will ever live among the storied recollec- 
tions of the fane the remembrance that its roof for a while 
enshrined the coffin of Mr. Gladstone, making his last halt on 
the way to his final dwelling-place. 



SESSION 1899 



CHAPTER XVIII 



FEBRUARY 



|HE proceedings at the opening of 
the forthcoming Session, the fifth 

in the fourteenth Par- jhe search for 
liament of Queen Quy Fawkes. 
Victoria, will be fully reported in 
the morning papers. There is 
a proceeding preliminary to the 
Speaker's taking the Chair which, 
from its history and character, is of 
necessity conducted in secret. It is 
the search through the underground 
chambers and passages of the House 
with design to frustrate any schemes 
in the direction of a dissolution of 
Parliament that descendants or dis- 
ciples of Guy Fawkes may have in 
hand. The present generation has 
seen, more especially when a Conservative Government have 
been in power, some revolutionary changes in Parliamentary 
procedure. The solemn search underneath the Houses of 
Parliament, preceding the opening of the revolving Sessions 
ever since Gunpowder Plot, is still observed with all the 
pomp and circumstance attached to it three hundred years 
ago. 




A BEEF-EATEK TEMl'. 
HENRY VIII. 



222 



1899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 223 

The investigation is conducted under the personal direc- 
tion of the Lord Great Chamberlain, who is answerable with 
his head for any miscarriage. When a peer comes newly to 
the office he makes a point of personally accompanying the 
expedition. But, though picturesque, and essential to the 
working of the British Constitution, it palls in time, and 
the Lord Great Chamberlain, relying upon the discretion, 
presence of mind, and resource of his Secretary, usually 
leaves it to him. Oddly enough, the House of Commons is 
not officially represented at the performance, the avowed 
object of which is not, primarily, to secure the safety of the 
Lords and Commons, but to avert the conclusion aimed at 
by Guy Fawkes — namely, to blow up the Sovereign. It is 
as the personal representative of the Queen that the Lord 
Great Chamberlain takes the business in hand. 

To this day the result of the inquiry is directly com- 
municated to Her Majesty. Up to a period dating back 
less than fifty years, as soon as the search was over, the 
Lord Great Chamberlain despatched a messenger on horse- 
back to the Sovereign, informing him (or her) that all was 
well, and that Majesty might safely repair to Westminster 
to open the new Session. To-day the telegraph wires 
carry the assurance to the Queen wherever she may 
chance to be in residence on the day before the opening of 
Parliament. 

Whilst the Commons take no official part in the per- 
formance, the peers are represented either by Black Rod or 
by his deputy, the Yeoman Usher, who is accom- i-^e search 
panied by half-a-dozen stalwart doorkeepers and Party. 
messengers, handy in case of a fray. The Board of Works 
are represented by the Chief Surveyor of the London 
District, accompanied by the Clerk of Works to the Houses 
of Parliament. The Chief Engineer of the House of 
Commons, who is responsible for all the underground 
workings of the building, leads the party, the Chief Inspector 
of Police boldly marching on his left hand. 

These are details prosaic enough. The nineteenth 
century has engrafted them on the sixteenth. The 



224 



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1899 



picturesqueness of the scene comes in with the appearance 
of the armed contingent. This is made up of some fourteen 

or sixteen of the Yeomen of the 
Guard, who arrive at the place of 
rendezvous armed with halberds and 
swords. The halberds look well, 
but this search is, above all, a 




business undertaking. 



It is recog- 



INSPECTOR HORSLEY. 



nised that for close combat in the 
vaults and narrow passages of the 
building halberds would be a little 
unwieldy. They are accordingly 
stacked in the Prince's Chamber, 
the Yeomen fearlessly marching on 
armed with nothing but their swords. 
Clad in their fifteenth-century cos- 
tume, they are commanded by an 
officer who wears a scarlet swallow- 
tailed coat, cocked hat, and feathers, gilt spurs shining at his 
martial heel. The spurs are not likely to be needed. But 
the British officer knows how to prepare for any emergency. 
Following the Yeomen of the Guard stride half-a-dozen 
martial men in costumes dating from the early part of the 
present century. They wear swallow-tail coats, truncated 
cone caps, with the base of the cone uppermost. They are 
armed with short, serviceable cutlasses, and batons such as 
undertakers' men carry, suggesting that they have come to 
bury Guy Fawkes, not to catch him. 

Most of the underground chambers and passages of the 
Houses of Parliament are lit by electricity. Failing that, 
they are flooded with gas. When search for Guy Fawkes 
was first ordered, the uses of gas had not been discovered, 
much less the possibilities of electricity. Lanterns were the 
only thing, so lanterns are still used. As the dauntless 
company of men-at-arms tramp along the subterranean 
passages, it is pretty to see the tallow dips in the swinging 
lanterns shamed by the wanton light that beats from the 
electric lamps. 



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225 



Her Majesty's Ministers meeting Parliament at the 
opening of their fifth Session remain happy in the reflection 
that their position is not endangered by any p^^^^^^^^^^^ 
mines dug within the limits of their own escarp- Caves. 
ment. It is different in the opposite camp. The first thing 
good Liberals do as soon as their own party comes into 
power is to commence 
a series of manoeuvres 
designed to thrust it 
forth. Sometimes they 
are called "caves," occa- 
sionally "tea-room 
cabals." But, as Mr. 
Gladstone learned in the 
1868-74 Parliament, in 
that of 1880-85, and, 
with tragic force, in the 
Parliament which made 
an end of what Mr. 
Chamberlain called "The 
Stop-Gap Government," 
they all mean the same 
thing. Lord Rosebery when he came to the Premiership 
found the habit was not eradicated. 

The condition of men and things in the House of 
Commons when Parliament met after the General Election 
in July 1895, was rarely favourable to the formation of 
" caves " on the Ministerial side. To begin with, the 
Government had such an overwhelming majority that the 
game of playing at being independent was so safe that its 
enjoyment was not forbidden to the most loyal Unionist. 
Given that condition, there were existent personal circum- 
stances that supplied abundant material for cave-making. 
The necessity imposed on Lord Salisbury of finding place 
in his Ministry for gentlemen outside the Conservative camp 
made it impossible not only to satisfy reasonable aspirations 
on the part of new men of his own party, but even to re- 
instate some ex-Ministers. Some, like Baron de Worms, 

Q 




A CAVE-MAN. 



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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 




shelved with a peerage, 
(baron de worms. ) 



were shelved with a peerage. Others, overlooked, were left 

to find places on back benches above or below the gangway. 

Of men who held office in 
Lord Salisbury's former Ad- 
ministration, Mr. Jackson, 
Sir James Fergusson, Sir 
W. Hart-Dyke, and Sir E. 
Ashmead-Bartlett were left 
out in the cold. Whilst 
most of the leading members 
of the Liberal Unionist wing, 
including Mr. Jesse Collings 
and Mr. Powell Williams, 
were provided with office, 
Mr. Courtney's claims were 
ignored, and Sir John Lub- 
bock's were probably never 
considered. 

Amongst Conservative 

members who had not been in office, but were not alone in 
An old their belief that they were well fitted for it, were 

Parliamentary Mr. Gibson Bowles and Mr. George Wyndham 
— the latter since deservedly provided for. 

Moreover, to a corner seat below the gangway returned 

Mr. James Lowther, 

thought good enough 

in Disraeli's time to 

be Under-Secretary for 

the Colonies and Chief 

Secretary for Ireland. 

Since the death of 

Lord Beaconsfield 

kings had arisen in 

Egypt who knew not 

"Jemmy," or, at least, 

forgot his existence at 

a time when Ministerial 

offices were dispensed, 




"WHO KNEW NOT JEMMY." 



The member for East Thanet, 



1899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 227 

first returned for York in the summer of 1865, is not 
only personally popular in the House, but has high standing 
as an old Parliamentary hand. If he had liked to turn 
rusty, he might have done the Conservative Party at least 
as much harm as Mr. Horsman when in the same mood 
wrought to the party with which, to the last, he ranked 
himself From time to time Mr. Lowther has vindicated 
his independence of Ministerial discipline by dividing the 
House on the question of the futility of reading, at the com- 
mencement of recurring Sessions, the standing order forbid- 
ding peers to interfere with elections. He has not gone 
beyond that, and whenever attempt has been made from the 
Opposition side to inflict damage on the best of all Govern- 
ments, he has ranged himself on the side of Ministers. 

Sir W. Hart-Dyke, Sir James Fergusson, and the late 
Sir W. Forwood, instead of openly resenting neglect, on 
more than one occasion went out of their way to 
defend the colleagues of the Prime Minister who 
slighted them. Mr. Wyndham was last Session not less 
generously loyal. Mr. Tommy Bowles, it is true, has been 
on occasions frac- 
tious. As for 
Sir E. Ashmead- 
Bartlett, when he 
recovered from the 
shock of realisa- 
tion that Lord 
Salisbury had not 
only formed a 
Ministry without 
including him in 

, , . THE HUMBLE FUNCTION OF THE FOOTBALL. 

its membership, 

but looked as if he would be able to carry it on, he showed 
signs of resentment. Through successive Sessions he has 
sedulously endeavoured to embarrass an unappreciative 
Premier by cunningly devised questions addressed to the 
Colonial Secretary or to the Under-Secretary for Foreign 
Affairs. Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Curzon alike proved able 




228 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

to hold their own, and the Sheffield Knight coming out 
to kick has found himself fulfilling the humble function of 
the football. 

A more serious defection was threatened last Session as 

the result of the distrust and discontent in Ministerial 

circles of Lord Salisbury's foreign policy. Mr. 

Mr. Yerburgh. ,,11 11 1 • 1 1 

Yerburgh, moved by apprehension that the 
interests of the British Empire in the Far East were at 
stake, instituted a series of weekly dinners at the Junior 
Carlton, where matters were talked over. The dinners 
were excellent, the wines choice, and Mr. Yerburgh has a 
delicate taste in cigars. This meeting at dinner instead of 
at tea, as was the fashion in the Liberal camp at the time of 
Mr. Gladstone's trouble over the Irish University Bill in 
1873, seemed to indicate manlier purpose. But nothing 
came of it except a distinct advancement of Mr. Yerburgh's 
position in the House of Commons. He, as spokesman of 
the malcontents, found opportunity to display a complete 
mastery of an intricate geographical and political position, com- 
bined with capacity for forcibly and clearly stating his case. 
Thus Lord Salisbury remained master of himself though 
China fell. Had Mr. Gladstone been in his position, under 
precisely similar circumstances, it would have been Her 
Majesty's Ministry that would have fallen to pieces. 

As usual, the recess has seen the final going over to the 
majority of old members of the House of Commons. Two 
Joined the ^^^ havc died since the prorogation were dis- 
Majority. tiuct typcs of Utterly divergent classes. There 
was nothing in common between the Earl of Winchilsea and 
Mr. T. B. Potter, except that they both sat in the 1880 
Parliament, saw the rise of the Fourth Party, and the 
crumbling away of Mr. Gladstone's magnificent majority. 
Mr. Potter was by far the older member, having taken his 
seat for Rochdale on the death of Mr. Cobden in 1865. 
Except physically, he did not fill a large place in the House, 
but was much esteemed on both sides for his honest purpose 
and his genial good-temper. 



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This last was imperturbable. It was not to be disturbed 
even by a double misfortune that accompanied one of the 
Cobden Club's annual dining expeditions to Greenwich. On 
the voyage out passing Temple Pier, one of the guests 
fell overboard. At the start on the return journey, another 
guest, a distinguished Frenchman, stepping aboard as he 
thought, fell into the gurgling river, and was fished out with 
a boat-hook. Yet Mr. Potter, President of the Club, largely 
responsible for the success of the outing, did not on either 
occasion intermit his beaming smile. 

He was always ready to be of service in whatsoever 
unobtrusive manner. The House cherishes tender memories 
of a scene in 1890. The fight in Committee- 
room No. I 5 had recently closed. Its memories 
still seared the breasts of the Irish members. Members 



A Buffer State. 




THE BUFFER STATE. 



were never certain that at any moment active hostilities 
might not commence even under the eye of the Speaker. 
One night a motion by Mr. John Morley raising the Irish 
question brought a large muster of the contending forces. 
Mr. Parnell, who had temporarily withdrawn from the scene, 
put in an appearance with the rest. He happened to seat 



230 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

himself on the same bench as Mr. Justin M'Carthy, whom 
the majority of the Irish members had elected to succeed 
him in the leadership. Only a narrow space divided the 
twain. The most apprehensive did not anticipate militant 
action on the part of Mr. M'Carthy. But, looking at Mr. 
Parnell's pale, stern face, knowing from report of proceedings 
in Committee-room No. 1 5 what passion smouldered 
beneath that mild exterior, timid members thought of what 
might happen, supposing the two rose together diversely 
claiming the ear of the House as Leader of the Irish Party. 
At this moment Mr. T. B. Potter entered and moved 
slowly up the House like a Thames barge slipping down the 
river with the tide. He made his way to the bench where 
the severed Irish Leaders sat, and planted himself out be- 
tween them, they perforce moving to right and left to make 
room. Seeing him there, his white waistcoat shimmering 
in the evening light like the mainsail of an East Indiaman, 
the House felt that all was well. Mr. Parnell was a long- 
armed man ; but, under whatsoever 
stress of passion, he could not get 
at Mr. M'Carthy across the broad 
space of the member for Rochdale. 

Lord Winchilsea sat in this 
same Parliament as Mr. Finch - 
Hatton. He early made a promising 
his mark by a maiden start, 
speech delivered on one of the 
interminable debates on Egypt. 
He was content to leave it there, 
never, as far as I remember, again 
taking part in set debate. His 
appearance was striking. Many 
THE LATE LORD WINCHILSEA. ycars aftcr, hc having succeeded 

to the earldom, I happened to be 
present when he rose from the luncheon -table at Haver- 
holme Priory to acknowledge the toast of his health. By 
accident or design he stood under a contemporary portrait 




i899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 231 

of his great ancestor, Christopher Hatton, Queen Elizabeth's 
Lord Chancellor. The likeness between the founder of 
the family and a scion separated by the space of more than 
three hundred years was almost startling. 

Lord Winchilsea aged rapidly. When he made his 
maiden speech in the House of Commons he had not 
advanced beyond the stage of the young dandy. His face 
was a shade of ivory, the pallor made more striking by the 
coal-black hair. His attitude, like his dress and everything 
about him, was carefully studied. His left hand, rigidly 
extended, lightly rested behind his back. His right hand, 
when not in action, hid its finger-tips in the breast of a 
closely-buttoned frock-coat. Occasionally he withdrew his 
hand and made stiff gestures in the air as if he were writing 
hieroglyphs. Occasionally he emphasised a point by slightly 
bowing to the amused audience. 

The matter of his speech was excellent, its form, 
occasionally, as extravagant as his get-up. The House roared 
with laughter when Mr. Finch- Hatton, pointing stiff finger- 
tips at Mr. Gladstone smiling on the Treasury Bench, invited 
members to visit the Premier on his uneasy couch and watch 
him moaning and tossing as the long procession of his 
pallid victims passed before him. This reminiscence of a 
scene from Richard III. was a great success, though not 
quite in the manner Mr. Hatton, working it out in his study, 
had forecast. 

A man of great natural capacity, wide culture, and, as 
was shown in his later connection with agriculture, of 
indomitable industry, he would, having lived down his 
extravagances, have made a career in the Commons. Called 
thence by early doom he went to the Lords, and was 
promptly and finally extinguished. 

Another old member of the House who died in the 
recess is Mr. Colman. The great mustard manufacturer, 
whose name was carried on tin boxes to the Mustered at 
uttermost ends of the earth, never made his mark J- J- coiman's. 
in the House of Commons. I doubt whether he ever got so 



232 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

far as to work off his maiden speech. A quiet, kindly, 
shrewd man of business, he was content to look on whilst 
others fought and talked. He came too late to the House 
to be ever thoroughly at one with it, and took an early 
opportunity of retiring. 

Mr. Gladstone had a high respect for him, and 
occasionally visited his beautiful home in Norfolk. One of 
these occasions became historic by reason of Mr. Gladstone 
unwittingly making a little joke. Coming down to breakfast 
one morning, and finding the house-party already gathered 
in the room, Mr. Gladstone cheerily remarked, " What, are 
we all mustered ? " 

He never knew why this innocent observation had such 
remarkable success with Mr. J. J. Colman's guests. 

A few more recollections of Mr. Gladstone whilst still in 
harness. I remember meeting him at a well-known house 
Mr. Gladstone's during the Midlothian campaign of 1885. He 
Table-talk, came in to luncheon half an hour late, and was 
rallied by the host upon his unpunctuality. " You know," he 
said, " only the other day you lectured us upon the grace of 
punctuality at luncheon-time." 

Mr. Gladstone took up this charge with energy familiar 
at the time in the House of Commons when repelling one 
of Lord Randolph Churchill's random attacks. Finally, 
he drew from the host humble confession that he had 
been in error, that so far from recommending punctuality 
at luncheon-time he had urged the desirability of absence 
of formality at the meal. " Any one," he said, " should 
drop in at luncheon when they please and sit where they 
please." 

Through the meal he was in the liveliest humour, talking 
in his rich, musical voice. After luncheon we adjourned to 
the library, a room full of old furniture and precious 
memorials, chiefly belonging to the Stuart times. On the 
shelves were a multitude of rare books. Mr. Gladstone 
picked up one, and sitting on a broad window seat, began 
reading and discoursing about it. Setting out for a walk. 



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he was got up in a most extraordinary style. He wore a 
narrow-skirted square-cut tail-coat, made, I should say, in 
the same year as the Reform Bill. Over his shoulders hung 
an inadequate cape, of rough hairy cloth, once in vogue but 
now little seen. On his head 
was a white soft felt hat. 
The back view as he trudged 
off at four-mile-an-hour pace 
was irresistible. 

Mrs. Gladstone watched 
over him like a hen with its 
first chicken. She was always 
pulling up his collar, fastening 
a button, or putting him to 
sit in some particular chair 
out of a draught. These 
little attentions Mr. Gladstone 
accepted without remark, with 
much the placid air a small 
and good-tempered babe wears 
when it is being tucked in its 
cot. 

In the Session of 1890, 
Mr. Gladstone rented a house 

An old London i" St. James's 

House. Square, a big roomy, gloomy mansion, built 
when George I, was King. On the pillars of the porch 
stand in admirable preservation two of the wrought- iron 
extinguishers in which in those days the link -boys used 
to thrust their torches when they had brought master or 
mistress home, or convoyed a dinner guest. Inside hideous, 
light-absorbing, flock wall-papers prevailed. One gained an 
idea — opportunity rare in the.se days — of the murkiness 
amid which our grandfathers dwelt. 

Dining there one night, I found the host made up for 
all household shortcomings. He talked with unbroken flow 
of spirits, always having more to say on any subject that 
turned up, and saying it better, than any expert present. 




AT A FOUR-MILE-AN-HOUR PACE. 



234 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

His memory was as amazing as his opportunities of acquiring 
knowledge had been unique. 

As we sat at table he, in his eighty-first year, recalled, 
as if it had happened the day before, an incident that befell 
Memories of when he was eighteen months old. Prowling 
Childhood, about the nursery on all fours, there suddenly 
flashed upon him consciousness of the existence of his nurse, 
as she towered above him. He remembered her voice and 
the very pattern of the frock she wore. This was his 
earliest recollection, his first clear consciousness of exist- 
ence. His memory of Canning when he stood for Liver- 
pool in 1 8 1 2 was perfectly clear ; indeed, he was then 
nearly three years old, and took an intelligent interest in 
public affairs. 

Of later date was his recollection of Parliamentary 
Elections, and the strange processes by which in the good 
old days they were accomplished. The poll at Liverpool 
was kept open sometimes for weeks, and the custom was for 
voters to be shut up in pens ten at a time. At the proper 
moment they were led out of these enclosures and conducted 
to the polling-booths, where they recorded their votes. 
These musters were called " tallies," and the reckoning up of 
them was a matter watched with breathless interest in the 
constituency. 

It was a point of keen competition which side should 

first land a " tally " at the polling-booth. Mr. Gladstone 

Doctoring a ^^Id with great gusto of an accident that befell 

Tally. one in the first quarter of the century. The 
poll opened at eight o'clock in the morning. The Liberals, 
determined to make a favourable start, marshalled ten voters, 
and as early as four in the morning filled the pen by the 
polling-booth. To all appearances the Conservatives were 
beaten in this first move. But their defeat was only 
apparent. Shortly after seven o'clock a barrel of beer, 
conveniently tapped, with mugs handy, was rolled up within 
hand-reach of the pen, where time hung heavy on the hands 
of the expectant voters. They naturally regarded this as a 
delicate attention on the part of their friends, and did full 



1899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 235 

justice to their hospitable forethought. After a while, 
consternation fell upon them. Man after man hastily 
withdrew till the pen was empty, and ten Conservatives, 
waiting in reserve, rushed in and took possession of the 
place. 

" The beer," said Mr. Gladstone, laughing till the tears 
came into his eyes, " had been heavily jalaped." 



CHAPTER XIX 



MARCH 



Writing in an earlier chapter about Mr. Gladstone's first 

speech in the House of Commons, I quoted a remark made 

by him on perusal of Mr. M'Carthy's preface to 

stone's Maiden White's Inner Life of the House of Commons. 

peec . ^j^^ historian of Our Ozvn Times asserted that 
the speech fell utterly unnoticed. Mr. Gladstone, jealous for 
the fame of the young member for Newark, corrected this 
statement with the remark : " My maiden speech was noticed 
in debate in a marked manner by Mr. Stanley, who was in 
charge of the Bill." 

Reading over again the memoirs of the Earl of Albemarle, 
published more than twenty years ago, and now forgotten, 
1 came upon a passage vividly illustrating contemporary 
opinion about this, now famous, then, in the main, uneventful, 
epoch in Parliamentary history. 

" One evening, on taking my place," Lord Albemarle 
writes, " I found on his legs a beardless youth, with whose 
appearance and manner I was greatly struck. He had an 
earnest, intelligent countenance, and large, expressive black 
eyes. Young as he was he had evidently what is called 
' the ear of the House,' and yet the cause he advocated was 
not one likely to interest a popular assembly — that of the 
Planter versus the Slave. I had placed myself behind the 
Treasury Bench. ' Who is he ? ' I asked one of the Ministers. 
I was answered, ' He is the member for Newark — a young 



236 



i899 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



237 



fellow who will some day make a great figure in Parliament.' 
My informant was Edward Geoffrey Stanley, then Whig 
Secretary for the Colonies, and 
in charge of the Negro Eman- 
cipation Bill, afterwards Earl 
of Derby. The young Con- 
servative orator was William 
Ewart Gladstone — two states- 
men who each subsequently 
became Prime Minister and 
Leader of the Party to which 
he was at this time diametri- 
cally opposed." 

It is curious to note that 
Mr. Gladstone, adopting Mr. 
A consecrated McCarthy's version, 
Error. long currcut with- 
out question, speaks of this 
discourse as " my maiden 
speech." It was, as contem- 
porary records show, so ac- 
cepted by the House. As a 
matter of fact, supported by 

the irrefragable testimony of the Mirror of Parliament, his 
first speech was delivered on the 21st of February 1833, 
the subject being the alleged discreditable state of things in 
Liverpool at parliamentary and municipal elections. The 
speech of the 3rd of June in the same Session, to which Mr. 
M'Carthy alludes, was delivered in Committee, upon con- 
sideration of resolutions submitted by Stanley, Colonial 
Secretary, as a preliminary to the emancipation of the West 
Indian slaves. 

On turning back to the Hansard of the day, Mr. Glad- 
stone's recollection of the Ministerial compliment is fully 
justified. Evidently it made a deep impression on the mind 
of the young member, remaining with him for more than 
sixty years. " If the hon, gentleman will permit me to 
make the observation," said the Colonial Secretary, " I beg 




AN EARLY APPEARAN'CE IN THE 
PARLIAMENTARY RING. 



238 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

to say I never listened with greater pleasure to any speech 
than I did to the speech of the hon. member for Newark, 
who then addressed the House, I believe, for the first time. 
He brought forward his case and argued it with a temper, 
an ability, and a fairness which may well be cited as a good 
model to many older members of this House, and which hold 
out to this House and to the country grounds of confident 
expectation that whatever cause shall have the good fortune 
of his advocacy will derive from it great support." 

It will be observed that the Minister spoke without con- 
tradiction of Mr. Gladstone's speech as his first appearance 
on the Parliamentary scene, a circumstance which probably 
did much to crystallise the error. 

More than a hundred years ago a young Prussian clergy- 
man, Moritz by name, visited this country, travelling on foot 
„, ^ . from London through Oxford as far north as 

Pictures in an ^ 

Old Pariia- Derby and home by Nottingham, He described 
his impressions in a series of homely letters 
written to a friend. The book found modest publication, 
appearing in this country in a slim volume bearing date 
1795. Moritz visited the House of Commons, and in his 
quiet, matter-of-fact way paints the scene in which Pitt, Fox, 
and Burke loomed large. 

" Passing through Westminster Hall," he reports, " you 
ascend a few steps at the end, and are led through a dark 
passage into the House of Commons." Westminster Hall 
remains to-day as it was when the quiet-mannered, observant 
Prussian passed through it. The steps at the end are there, 
but the House of Commons, to which he presently obtained 
entrance, was, more than half a century later, burned to the 
ground. Entrance to the Strangers' Gallery in those days 
was approached, as it is now, by a small staircase. 

" The first time I went up this small staircase," says the 
ingenuous visitor, " and had reached the rails, I saw a very 
genteel man in black standing there. I accosted him with- 
out any introduction, and I asked him whether I might be 
allowed to go into the gallery. He told me that I must be 



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239 



introduced by a member, or else I could not get admission 
there. Now, as I had not the honour to be acquainted with 
a member, I was under the mortifying necessity of retreating 
and again going downstairs, as I did much chagrined. And 
now, as I was sullenly marching back, I heard something 
said about a bottle of wine which seemed to be addressed to 
me. I could not conceive what it could mean till I got 
home, when my obliging landlady told me I should have 
given the well-dressed man half- a -crown or a couple of 
shillings for a bottle of wine. Happy in this information, I 
went again the next day ; when the same man who before 
had sent me away, after I had given him only two shillings, 
very politely opened the door for me, and himself recom- 
mended me to a good seat in the gallery." 

Strangers visiting the House of Commons will know how 
far we have advanced 
beyond the level of 
morality here indicated. 

Mr. Moritz found 
the House of Commons 
" rather a mean-looking 
building, not a little 
resembling a chapel. 
The Speaker, an elderly 
man with an enormous 
wig with two knotted 
kind of tresses, or curls, 
behind, in a black cloak, 
his hat on his head, sat 
opposite to me on a 
lofty chair." The 
Speaker of the House 
of Commons long ago 
removed his hat, which 
in modern Parliament- 
ary proceedings appears only when he produces it from an 
unsuspected recess and uses it pointing to members when he 
counts the House. " The members of the House of Com- 




M.P., OLDEN TIME. 



240 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

mons," he notes, " have nothing particular in their dress. 
They even come into the House in their great-coats with 
boots and spurs," which to-day would be thought a something 
very particular indeed. " It is not at all uncommon to see 
a member lying stretched out on one of the benches whilst 
others are debating. Some crack nuts, others eat oranges, 
or whatever else is in season." 

We have changed all that. During the all-night sittings 
in the heyday of the Land League Party an Irish member 
brought a paper bag of buns with him, and proceeded to 
refresh himself in the intervals of speech-making. This 
outrage on the Constitution was swiftly and sternly rebuked 
from the Chair, and was never repeated. Another old-world 
custom of the House noted by the stranger who looked down 
from the gallery a hundred and seventeen years ago was 
that members addressing their remarks to the Speaker 
prefaced them, as they do at this day, with the observation 
" Sir." " The Speaker on being thus addressed generally 
moves his hat a little, but immediately puts it on again." 
The Speaker not now wearing a hat cannot observe this 
courteous custom. But it exists to this day among members 
generally. A member referred to by another in the course 
of his speech always lifts his hat, in recognition of the 
attention, complimentary or otherwise. 

In the House of Lords, more conservative of old customs 
than the Commons, the Lord Chancellor is upon certain 
occasions seen of men with a three-cornered hat crowning his 
full-bottomed wig. This happens when new peers take the 
oath and their seat. As the new peer is conducted on his 
quaint peregrination and salutes the Lord Chancellor from 
the Barons' or Earls' bench, to which he has been inducted, 
the Lord Chancellor responds by thrice gravely uplifting his 
three-cornered hat. Another time when he wears his hat in 
the House is when acting with other Royal Commissioners 
at the opening of Parliament, at its Prorogation, or at the 
giving the Royal Assent to Bills. 

The Prussian chanced to visit the House on the historic 
occasion when proposal was made for doing honour to 



1 899 



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241 



Admiral Rodney, the gallant victor at Cape St. Vincent. 
" Fox," Mr. Moritz reports, " was sitting to the charies 
right of the Speaker, not far from the table on James Fox. 
which the gilt sceptre lay. He now took his place so near 
it that he could reach it with 
his hand, and, thus placed, .«i"i^-4f 

he gave it many a violent and 
hearty thump, either to aid or 
to show the energy with which 
he spoke. It is impossible 
for me to describe with what 
fire and persuasive eloquence 
he spoke, and how the 
Speaker in the Chair inces- 
santly nodded approbation 
from beneath his solemn 
wig. Innumerable voices in- 
cessantly called out, ' Hear 
him ! hear him ! ' and when 
there was the least sign that 
he intended to leave off 
speaking they no less vo- 
ciferously exclaimed, ' Go on.' And so he continued to 
speak in this manner for nearly two hours." 

" Charles Fox," writes this precursor of picturesque 
description of Parliamentary proceedings, " is a short, fat, and 
gross man, with a swarthy complexion, and dark ; and in 
general he is badly dressed. There certainly is something 
Jewish in his looks. But upon the whole he is not an ill- 
made, nor an ill-looking, man, and there are strong marks 
of sagacity and fire in his eyes. Burke is a well-made, tall, 
upright man, but looks elderly and broken. Rigby is 
excessively corpulent, and has a jolly, rubicund face." 

Mr. Moritz makes the interesting note that when the 
division on the Rodney vote was pending, ..st^g^ 
members, turning their faces towards the gallery, wiiiwith- 
called aloud, " Withdraw ! Withdraw ! " " On '^'^^'" 
this," he writes, " the strangers withdraw, and are shut up 

R 




CHARLES JAMES FOX. 
{From an Old Portrait.) 



242 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 



in a small room at the foot of the stairs till the voting is 
over, when they are again permitted to take their places in 
the gallery." 

In our time, strangers in the gallery, despite the Speaker's 
order to withdraw, retain their seats. Only those who, with 
pride of port, have been conducted to the special seats 
under the gallery are marched out, conducted across the lobby, 
and left outside the locked doors till the division is over. 
According to Mr. Moritz's testimony, the Strangers' Galleries 
were not exclusively allotted to men, ladies mingling in the 
closely-packed company. The old House of Commons had 
no Ladies' Gallery. 

There was, of course, no such thing as a Press Gallery in 
the days before the earlier Revolution in France. " Two 
Reporters shorthand writers," says the stranger in the 
In the House, gallery, whose quick glance nothing escapes, 
" have sat sometimes not far distant from me, who, though it 
is rather by stealth, endeavour to take down the words of the 
speaker. Thus all that is very remarkable in what is said in 

Parliament may generally be 
read in print the next day." 

Dr. Johnson often sat in 

this gallery, though he did not 

use shorthand in reporting 

the speeches. The omission 

would doubtless be to the 

advantage of some speakers. 

Mr. Moritz heard that those 

in constant attendance with 

the object of reporting the 

debates paid the door-keeper 

r^ a guinea for the privilege of 

the Session. The fee was 

paid in advance. 

There was no Strangers' Gallery in the House of Peers 

at that time, but the irresistible Prussian gained admission. 

He writes : " There appears to be much more politeness 

and more courteous behaviour with the members of the 




DR. JOHNSON WATCHING PARLIAMENT. 



i899 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



243 



Upper House. But he who wishes to observe mankind 
and to contemplate the leading traits of the different 
characters most strongly marked, will do well to attend 
frequently the lower rather than the upper House." Those 
familiar with both Houses of Parliament will know how 
admirably this shrewd advice pertains to the present day. 

The Session is already three weeks old, but the lobby 
has not yet lost a certain sense of desolateness since Baron 

Baron Ferdy Rothschild ^ 
"Ferdy." comes not any more. 
He was not, in the ordinary sense 
of the term, a Parliamentary 
figure. I have no recollection of 
hearing him make a speech. He 
was not given to sitting up late 
at night in order to save the 
State or (the same thing) serve 
his party. But he was a man of 
wide human sympathies, and the 
House of Commons, microcosm 
of humanity, irresistibly attracted 
him. 

His habit of an afternoon was 
to enter the lobby, generally after 
questions were over. With one 
hand in his pocket, and a smile ^^^^ 
on his face, he made straightway ^' 

for a friend, standing in an accus- 
tomed spot by the doorkeeper's 
chair, and " wanted to know " 

everything that had happened since the House met, and 
what was going on next. Baron Ferdy, otherwise a distinct 
individuality in his notable family, had, in marked degree, 
their characteristic of acquiring information. He always 
" wanted to know." This habitude was indicative of the 
universality of his sympathy. He was one of the most 

^ Baron Ferdinand Rothschild, died i8q8. 




BARON 



' FERDY. 



244 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

unaffectedly kind-hearted men I ever knew. Looking in 
upon him one morning in his study at Waddesdon, I found 
him seated before two heaps of opened letters, one very 
much smaller than the other. " All begging letters," he 
said, glancing, with a faint smile, towards the larger bundle. 

Undeterred by their predominance and persistency, Baron 
Ferdy had, in accordance with his custom, spent an early 
hour of the morning in going through them himself, fearful 
lest he might miss a genuine case of distress that he could 
alleviate. 

It was not money only he bestowed. Out of its abund- 
ance a cheque more or less was nothing. More self-sacrificing, 
His Ways of ^^ gavc time and personal attention, not shrinking 
Charity. from putting himself under a personal obligation 
in order to assist some one who really had no claim upon 
him. The longest letter I ever had from him begged me to 
obtain an appointment on the London Press for a country 
journalist. He followed it up with renewed personal applica- 
tions, impatiently treating my plea that, there being no 
vacancy within my knowledge, it would not be possible 
violently to supersede any one of the leading contributors to 
London journals in order to make room for his protege. 
Judging from the ardour of the pursuit, I concluded the 
gentleman in question must in some way be closely connected 
with the Baron or his establishment. On inquiry I found 
he had never seen him — knew nothing about him save 
particulars set forth in a letter the youth had written to him. 
It was the old story of unrest and yearning ambition, familiar 
to all of us who have served on the treadmill of the Press. 
It was new to Baron Ferdy. It touched his kind heart, and 
he espoused the youth's cause with fervour that could not 
have been excelled had he been a kinsman. 

Another of his quiet kindnesses, of which I had personal 

knowledge, befell on the day of the wedding of the Duchess 

"A Cup of of York. He had invited a few friends to view 

Water." the sccnc from the balcony of his mansion in 

Piccadilly. The crowd at this favoured spot, commanding 

the deboiichement from Constitution Hill, was enormous. 



i899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 245 

The day was intensely hot, men and women fainting in the 
crowd, gasping for water. Baron Ferdy, observing this from 
the balcony, ran downstairs, ordered the servants to bring 
buckets of fresh water into the barricaded space before the 
house, and stationed two of them in a position overlooking 
the barricade, whence they could hand down tumblers of 
water to the thirsty and grateful crowd. 

Last year but one, on the occasion of the Queen's 
Golden Jubilee, Baron Ferdy, never neglectful of opportunity 
to do a kindness, made, in advance, preparations for 
relieving the discomfort of the crowd at his gates. Finding 
in the course of the day that the police on duty had had 
nothing to eat since they turned out in the morning, he, as 
soon as the business of the day was over, sent out into the 
highways and byways, and compelled the not unwilling 
police to come in and partake of the remains of the 
sumptuous banquet he had prepared by way of luncheon for 
his personal friends, watching the scene from the balcony. 

These are but trifling things. I tell them as happening 
to have come under my personal observation. They are 
indicative of the sweetness of Baron Ferdy's nature, the 
boundless charity of his disposition. The catalogue would 
be indefinitely extended if every one who knew him were to 
contribute his item. The House of Commons could better 
have spared a more prominent politician, a more frequent 
contributor to its daily debates. 

It would be interesting to know whether, in all respects, 
Scotland stands where it did since the salary of its Heritable 
Usher is no longer carried on the books of the ^^ „ ,^ ^, 

° The Heritable 

Consolidated Fund. What were precisely the Usherof 
duties of the Heritable Usher is not known. 
Long ago the inheritor did his last ushering, his heirs selling 
for a considerable mess of pottage the salary pertaining to the 
office. It was created in the year 1393, and by solemn Act 
of the Parliament of Scotland was conferred upon Alexander 
Cockburn, of Langton, and his heirs. Subsequent Acts of 
the Scottish Parliament, passed in 1681 and 1686, confirmed 



246 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 



the original grant, the latter Act attaching a salary of ^250 
a year to the office. When the Union of England and 
Scotland was effected the Heritable Usher, with many 
similar useful persons, was established in possession of 
his dignity and emoluments by a special clause in the Treaty 
of Union providing that " all heritable offices, superiorities, 
etc., being reserved to the owners thereof as rights of property 
in the same manner as they are now enjoyed by the laws of 
Scotland, notwithstanding of this treaty." 

At the beginning of the century the office with the salary, 
being a marketable commodity, was acquired by one Sir 




A KEEN SCENT FOR JOBS (MR, HANBURY). 



Patrick Walker, who, with nice precision, paid a sum 
equivalent to 31^ years' purchase. The office and, what 
is much more important, the salary finally came into the 
possession of the Dean and Chapter of the Episcopal 
Cathedral of St. Mary's, Edinburgh. Mr. Hanbury, who, in 
this capacity of Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has a 
keen scent for these ancient jobs, has concluded a trans- 
action for the computation of the salary. The Dean and 
Chapter of the Cathedral of St. Mary's will pouch a trifle 
under £yooo, and the Heritable Usher of Scotland will 
be ushered into final obscurity. 

It will be a nice task for any boy home for the holidays 
to reckon up with compound interest what the Heritable 



i899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 247 

Usher of Scotland has cost Great Britain since he stepped 
on the scene in the year of Our Lord 1393. 

This transaction has been conducted in pursuance of a 
Treasury Minute founded upon the report of a House of 
Commons' Committee which met twelve years 

. , , , . . , . Flodden Field. 

ago to consider the subject of perpetual pensions. 
They recommend that holders of pension allowances or 
payments which the Law Officers of the Crown consider to 
be permanent in character, but to which no obligation of an 
onerous kind attaches, should be invited to commute. 



CHAPTER XX 



APRIL 



There is a general impression that Lord Rosebery's 
accession to the Premiership in 1894 was directly and 

absolutelv 

, , _' A Surprise. 

due to Mr. 

Gladstone's nomina- 
tion. The fact is the 
appointment was 
made on the personal 
initiative of the 
Queen. The selec- 
tion of the Prime 
Minister remains, 
even in these demo- 
cratic days, the abso- 
lute prerogative of 
the Sovereign. But 
the prerogative is 
not now enforced in 
antagonism to the 
obvious drift of 
popular feeling. 

The last time it 




LORD ALTHORP (AFTER H. K. B. ). 



was exercised in anything approaching autocratic manner 
happened sixty -five years ago, when William IV. was 



King. 



When Lord Althorp (of whom we had in the 

248 



1 899 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



249 



House of Commons a singularly close replica in the person 
of Lord Hartington) went to the House of Lords it became 
necessary to ap- 
point a successor 
to the leadership 
in the House of 
Commons. Lord 
John Russell 
seemed inevitable. 
But it was known 
that the King 
did not like him, 
distrusting the 
Radical element 
he represented. 
Lord Melbourne, 
at the time 
Premier, cheerily 
undertook to put 
the matter 
through. He 

drove down to 
Brighton, where the King was staying, suggested the appoint- 
ment, and was dumfounded by the reply. The King com- 
manded him to give up the seals of office, and entrusted to 
his care, on the return journey to London, a letter com- 
manding the Duke of Wellington to form a Ministry. 

In the second year of Queen Victoria's reign a procedure 
only less arbitrary took place in connection with the Premier- 
ship. Lord Melbourne, defeated on the Jamaica ^^^^ 
Bill, resigned. The Queen, like her uncle, turned Bedchamber 
to the Duke of Wellington, who recommended otnen. 
Sir Robert Peel. Sir Robert insisted as a condition of his 
undertaking the Government that the Whig Ladies-in-Wait- 
ing, who surrounded the Queen, should be dismissed. Her 
Majesty resented this dictation, with the result that Lord 
Melbourne came back with foredoomed endeavour to carry 
on an impossible Government. 




\VILLI.\M IV. (AFTER H.K.B. ). 



2 so LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

On the eve of the twentieth century neither King nor 

Queen would think of pitting preference for Bedchamber 

Women against the claims to the Premiership of 

In 1880. , ^ r^, , , 

a popular statesman. Ihat the tendency to 
enforce the prerogative in spite of popular feeling is never- 
theless ineradicable in the Royal breast was testified so 
recently as 1880. The General Election had been won for 
the Liberals by the magic of one name, the tireless energy, 
the boundless genius of one man. Lord Beaconsfield over- 
thrown, Mr. Gladstone was inevitable. But the Queen did 
not disguise her hankering after another. She sent for 
Lord Hartington, and invited him to form a Ministry. He 
pointed out the impossibility of ignoring Mr. Gladstone's 
claims, but, loyally yielding to pressure, went back to town 
and spent a day in endeavour to meet the Queen's wishes. 
The result was to confirm him in his earliest conviction. 

Even then Her Majesty, with womanly persistence, 
fought against the inevitable. Lord Granville was sent for, 
and the command to form a Ministry transferred to him. 
He, like Lord Hartington, pleading the hopelessness of such 
endeavour, Mr. Gladstone was reluctantly summoned, and 
an interval that had filled the political world with marvel 
and disquiet happily closed. 

Fourteen years later Her Majesty was more fortunate 
in finding her preference for Lord Rosebery coincide not 
What might on\y with popular opinion, but with the personal 
have been, predilections of the retiring Minister. A year 
or two before he withdrew from the Parliamentary stage, 
Mr. Gladstone publicly nominated Lord Rosebery as his 
successor. To that circumstance is attributable the im- 
pression, which still obtains, that it was Mr. Gladstone who 
selected Lord Rosebery. It was well known in the Cabinet 
of 1894 that what proved to be a crown of thorns was 
placed on Lord Rosebery's head by the Queen's own hands. 

Another arrangement privately talked of at the time, 
had it been regarded favourably by Her Majesty, would have 
pleasantly varied subsequent events as regarded from the 
point of view of the interests of the Liberal Party. It 



1899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 251 

proposed Lord Spencer as Premier, Lord Rosebery as 
Foreign Secretary, Sir William Harcourt as Home Secre- 
tary and Leader of the Commons. In such case we should 
not have had the Death Duties Budget. But the circum- 
ambient atmosphere in Downing Street would have been 
more placid, and the example of discord in high places 
would not have spread through humbler party tracts. 

Talking of the troublous times between 1892 and 1895, 
a member who sat through both Mr. Gladstone's and Lord 
Rosebery's Cabinets is of opinion that two Moments for 
opportunities were lost for the sorely beset Resignation. 
Liberal Government to retrieve its position by a General 
Election. Sustained by the advantage of reviewing the 
situation with full knowledge of subsequent events, this 
high authority insists that Mr. Gladstone should have 
straightway gone to the country when the Lords threw out 
the Home Rule Bill. For him later to descend to the level 
of the Parish Councils Bill was to fritter away a great 
opportunity ; whilst keeping members with their nose to 
the grindstone up to Christmas Eve, with prospect of 
resumption of the sittings in January, was a waste of 
priceless energy and endurance that would have been much 
better directed on the field of battle at the polls. 

Mr. Gladstone was personally in favour of immediate 
resignation, counting upon the resentment created in the 
popular mind by the action of the Lords. It will be 
remembered with what persistence he, in the last speech 
delivered in the House of Commons, piled up the account 
against the Lords in the long Session then drawing to its 
close. He was outvoted by colleagues in the Cabinet, who 
did not think that even the joy of battering the doors of the 
House of Lords would counteract the apathy, verging on 
distaste, possessing the mind of the British elector in view 
of the Home Rule question. 

The other fortunate moment for resignation that promised 
to present itself during Lord Rosebery's Premiership flashed 
on the question of the Indian Cotton Duties. When Sir 
Henry James, backed by the full strength of the Unionist 



252 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 



party temporarily recruited by some Liberals representing 

A Light that cotton districts, brought forward his motion in 

Failed. ^j^g interests of British cotton spinners trading 

in India, defeat of the Government seemed inevitable. In 




?^ 



SIR HENRY JAMES AND THE COTTON DUTIES TRIBESMEN. 



Cabinet Council Lord Rosebery was insistent that, im- 
mediately on the blow falling, Ministers should resign and 
an appeal be made to the country. He was confident that 
the answer of the electors to the commercial heresy of the 
Opposition would be highly satisfactory to sound Liberals. 

It was Sir Henry Fowler who spoiled this promising 
game. He replied to Sir Henry James in a speech which 
completely knocked the bottom out of his case, and turned 
a threatened rout into a brilliant victory. Thus Lord 
Rosebery's Government had no luck. At a particular 
moment when disaster in the division lobby might have 
proved the herald of permanent access of strength in the 



1899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 253 

country, they found themselves flushed with victory. This 




SIR HENRY FOWLER S CHARGE. 



was the more aggravating, as instances of a set speech in a 
party debate influencing votes are exceedingly rare. 

Mention of the presence of ladies in the House of 
Commons made by the Prussian traveller in England, 
is the more remarkable as it is generally under- Ladies in the 
stood that at the date of his visit, 1782, the House, 
presence of ladies was prohibited. Access to the House 
was forbidden them under circumstances interesting to 
consider in connection with the modern question of women's 
rights. On the 2nd of February 1778 the House was 
densely crowded in anticipation of debate on the state of 
the nation. It was to be raised upon a motion by Mr. Fox 
declaring that " no more of the Old Corps be sent out of 
the kingdom." 

What happened is set forth in the current issue of the 
London Chrofiicle. " This day," it is written, " a vast multi- 
tude assembled in the lobby and environs of the House of 
Commons, but not being able to gain admission by either 
entreaty or interest, they forced their way into the gallery 
in spite of the doorkeepers. The House considered the 
intrusion in a heinous light, and a motion was directly made 



2 54 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

for clearing the gallery. A partial clearing only took place : 
the gentlemen were obliged to withdraw ; the ladies, through 
complaisance, were suffered to remain ; but Governor John- 
stone observing that if the motive for clearing the House 
was a supposed propriety, to keep the state of the nation 
concealed from our enemies, he saw no reason to indulge 
the ladies so far as to make them acquainted with the arcana 
of the State, as he did not think them more capable of 
keeping secrets than the men. Upon which, they were 
likewise ordered to leave the House. The Duchess of 
Devonshire, Lady Norton, and nearly sixty other ladies 
were obliged to obey the mandate." 

Referring to Hansard of the date I find it recorded that, 
the scene over, Mr. Fox rose, and after an apology for the 
trouble he was about to give the Committee, extolled his 
own personal good fortune in having his audience reduced, 
" being persuaded he should not have answered the great 
expectations which had brought them there." 

The learned Hatsell thus discourses on the incident : — 

" When a member in his place takes notice to the 
Speaker of strangers being in the House or gallery, it is the 
The Law on Speaker's duty immediately to order the Serjeant 
the Matter, ^q cxecutc the ordcrs of the House, and to clear 
the House of all but members, and this without permitting 
any debate or question to be moved upon the execution of 
the order. It very seldom happens that this can be done 
without a violent struggle from some quarter of the House, 
that strangers may remain. Members often move for the 
order to be read, endeavour to explain it, and debate upon 
it, and the House as often runs into great heats upon this 
subject ; but in a short time the confusion subsides, and the 
dispute ends by clearing the House, for if any one member 
insists upon it, the Speaker must enforce the order, and the 
House must be cleared." 

" The most remarkable instance of this that has occurred 
in my memory," Hatsell writes, " was at a time when the 
whole gallery and the seats under the front gallery were 
filled with ladies. Captain Johnstone, of the Navy (com- 



1899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 255 

monly called Governor Johnstone), being angry that the 
House was cleared of all the ' men strangers,' 

Termagants. 

amongst whom were some Iriends he had mtro- 
duced, insisted that ' all strangers ' should withdraw. This 
produced a violent ferment for a long time, the ladies 
showing great reluctance to comply with the order of the 
House, so that by their perseverance business was interrupted 
for nearly two hours. But at length they were compelled to 
submit. Since that time ladies, many of the highest rank, 
have made several powerful efforts to be again admitted. 
But Mr. Cornwall and Mr. Addington have as constantly 
declined to permit them to come in. Indeed, were this 
privilege allowed to any one individual, however high her 
rank, or respectable her character and manners, the galleries 
must soon be open to all women, who from curiosity, amuse- 
ment, or any other motive, wish to hear the debates. And 
this to the exclusion of many young men, and of merchants 
and others, whose commercial interests render their attend- 
ance necessary to them, and of real use and importance to 
the public." 

The earliest reference to the presence of ladies in the 
House of Commons is to be found in Grey's Debates : 
" During a debate on the 1st of June 1675," says ^ facetious 
this precursor of Hansard, " some ladies were in speaker, 
the gallery, peeping over the gentlemen's shoulders. The 
Speaker spying them, called out, ' What borough do those 
ladies serve for?' to which Mr. William Coventry replied, 
' They serve for the Speaker's Chamber ! ' Sir Thomas 
Littleton said, 'The Speaker might mistake them for gentle- 
men with fine sleeves, dressed like ladies.' Says the Speaker, 
' I am sure I saw petticoats.' " 

Sir John Hay, whose handsome presence long decorated 
the bench behind the Conservative leaders, used to tell a 
charming story about ladies in the House, j,,^ Deceased 
Debate coming on on the still perennial subject wife's sister, 
of the Deceased Wife's Sister, Mr. Henley, thinking the 
question was not one to be discussed with fullest freedom in 
presence of ladies, induced the Speaker to order the Serjeant- 



2s6 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 



at-Arms to have the gallery cleared. This was done with one 
exception. A strong-minded female announced her readiness 

to sit it out, however disquieting 
the ordeal might be. 

Mr. Henley, looking up to 
see if the Speaker's order had 
been obeyed, caught a glimpse 
of an angular and bonneted 
visage peering through the bars. 
He called the Speaker's atten- 
tion to the defiance of his rule, 
and a messenger was despatched 
with peremptory repetition of 
the order. The lady declined 
to move, threatening to scream 
if she were touched. This diffi- 
culty being communicated to 
Mr. Denison, then Speaker, he 
beckoned Sir John Hay to the 
Chair. 

" Tell Henley," he said, " I 
have twice sent the Serjeant-at- 
Arms up to clear the gallery. He reports all gone but 
one, and she won't budge. I believe her to be the deceased 
wife's sister, 
debate." 




I 



R 



^ 



THE DECEASED WIFE S SISTER. 



Better take no notice and go on with the 



At the time of his death Mr. Christopher Sykes was not 
a member of the House of Commons. But he lived there 
Mr. Chris- through many Sessions, and has left behind him 
topher Sykes. dcathlcss mcmoHes. Few men equally silent 
gave the House larger measure of delight. To behold him 
was a liberal education in deportment. Perhaps no one 
could be so proper or so wise as he habitually looked. But 
it is something for mortals to have at hand a model, even if 
it be unattainably high. 

One night in the Session of 1884 Mr. Christopher Sykes 
startled the House by bringing in a Bill. If any member 



1 899 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



257 



boldly imaginative had in advance associated the Yorkshire 
magnate with such an undertaking, he would instinctively 
have conjured up a question of enormous gravity — say the 
repeal of the Union, or the re-establishment of the Heptarchy. 
When it was discovered that Mr. Sykes's bantling was a Bill 
to amend the Fisheries (Oysters, Crabs, and Lobsters) Act, 
1877, the House shook with Homeric laughter. 

Circumstances were favourable to the high comedy that 
followed. Ordinary members bring in Bills in the prosaic 
Christopher's Opening hour of a sitting. 
Manoeuvres. Mr. Sykes selected the 
alternative opportunity presented at 
its close. At that hour the House is 
always ready for a lark. The dis- 
covery of Mr. Sykes standing behind 
the empty Front Opposition Bench, 
grave, white -waistcoated, wearing in 
the buttonhole of his dinner-coat the 
white flower of a blameless life, pro- 
mised sport. He held a paper in his 
hand but said never a word, staring 
blankly at the Speaker, who was also 
on his legs, running through the 
Orders of the Day. For a member 
to remain on his feet whilst the 
Speaker is upstanding is a breach of 
order of which Mr. Sykes was riotously 
reminded. For all answer, he looked 
around with the air of a stolid man 
surveying, without understanding, the 
capering of a cage of monkeys. 

The Speaker, charitably conclud- 
ing that the hon. member was moving for leave to bring in 
the Bill, put the question. Sir Wilfrid Lawson observed 
that the Bill was evidently one of great importance. It was 
usual in such circumstances for the member in charge to 
explain its scope. Would Mr. Sykes favour the House with 
a few observations ? 

S 




' THE AIR OF A STOLID MAN 
SURVEYING THE CAPERING 
OF A CAGE OF MONKEYS." 



2 58 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

Mr. Sykes took no notice of this appeal or of the up- 
roarious applause with which it was sustained. Leave being 
given to bring in the Bill, Christopher, who had evidently 
carefully rehearsed the procedure, rose and with long stride 
made his way to the Bar. Members in charge of Bills, 
having obtained leave to introduce them, stand at the Bar 
till, the list completed, the Speaker calls upon them by name 
to bring up their Bill, which they hand to the Clerk at the 
table. To the consternation of the Speaker and the uncon- 
trollable amusement of the House, Mr. Sykes, having reached 
the Bar, straightway turned about, walked up the floor, Bill 
in hand, and stood at the table solemnly gazing on the 
Speaker. As nothing seemed to come of this, he, after a 
while, retired a few paces, bowed to the Mace, again advanced, 
halted at the foot of the table, and again stared at the 
Speaker. The Solicitor-General and another Minister who 
happened to be on the Treasury Bench took him by each 
arm, gently but firmly leading him back to the Bar, standing 
sentry beside him in preparation for any further unauthorised 
movement. 

Other business disposed of, the Speaker called him by 
name. Mr. Sykes, whose unruffled visage and attitude of 
funereal gravity were in striking contrast with the uproarious 
merriment that prevailed on both sides, again advanced, 
handed the Bill to the waiting Clerk, and forthwith departed. 
This was a fresh and final breach of Parliamentary rules. 
It is ordered that a member, having brought in a Bill, shall 
stand at the table whilst the Clerk reads out its title. In 
reply to a question from the Speaker he names a day for the 
second reading. Swift messengers caught Mr. Sykes as he 
was crossing the Bar and haled him back to the table, where 
at last, preserving amid shouts of laughter his impregnable 
air of gravity, he completed his work. 

But he never brought in another Bill, and, though he did 
not immediately retire from Parliamentary life, he withdrew 
more closely in his shell, even as the perturbed periwinkle 
or the alarmed cockle shrink from the rude advance of 
man. 



1 899 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



259 



In some particulars Johnston of Ballykilbeg fails to 
realise the popular idea of an Irish member. He is certainly 
not boisterous in his humour, and never emulates Johnston of 
Sir Boyle Roche. Yet humour he has, rather of Baiiykiibeg. 
dour. Covenanting style, highly successful in tickling the 
fancy of the House. The highest tribute to his excellent 
qualities of heart and mind is found in the fact that though 
a typical Orangeman, on whom glimpse of the flutter of the 
skirt of the Scarlet Lady has the same effect as the waving of 
a red rag on an infuriate bull, he is on friendliest terms with 
his Catholic compatriots. To the delight of the House, they 
fence with each 

r::?^ 



other at question- 
time, Baiiykiibeg by 
no means coming 
off worst in the 
encounter of wit. 

There is one im- 
portant particular 
in which Mr. John- 
ston can claim com- 
mon ground with 
Irish members in 
the opposite camp. 
He has been in 
prison. The event 
happened long ago, 
and Mr. Johnston 
being then of only 
local fame did not 
loom large in the 
newspapers. Consequently it passed from recollection, the 
House being startled when, one night last Session, in 
Committee on the Irish Local Government Bill, Mr. Dillon, 
whose memory for such matters is fresher, made passing 
allusion to it. 

It was one of the incidents consequent on the glorious 
celebration in the year 1867 of the Twelfth of July in 




MR. JOHNSTON IN PRISON. 



26o 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 



County Down. There was at that time in existence a 
statute known as the Party Processions Act, which prohibited 
street demonstrations in Ireland. Mr. Johnston thought he 

observed that 
whilst the Act 
was negligently 
ad m in i stered 
when there was 
question of 
Catholic or 
Nationalist street 
processions, no 
two or three 
Orangemen wear- 
ing harmless rib- 
bons, beating the 
peaceful drum, 
and roaring " To 

with the 

Pope ! " might 
parade the streets 
of Belfast without straightway being haled to prison. He 
resolved to offer himself as a martyr to the cause of truth. 
Accordingly, on this i 2th of July, now more than twenty-one 
years past, he arrayed himself in full fig, and placed himself 
at the head of an Orange procession. He was arrested, and 
committed for trial. Brought before the genial judge, now 
(through the London season) an exile from his country under 
the style of Lord Morris, he was sentenced to two months' 
imprisonment. 

It was intimated to him that, if he pleased, he might go 
forth from prison on his own recognisances. As that involved 
a pledge " not to do it any more," he stoutly declined. He 
served his two months, and found in the discipline the making 
of his political fortunes. In 1868 came the General Election, 
pregnant with Mr. Gladstone's great boons for Ireland. The 
men of Belfast returned Mr. Johnston of Ballykilbeg at the 
head of the poll, and have since remained faithful to him. 




BEATING THE ORANGE DRUM. 



CHAPTER XXI 



MAY 



A dead Hope. 



A PLEASING hope that last Session fluttered the breast 
of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was doomed to 

disappointment. 

When discovery- 
was made that Mr. Villiers, 
who for years had been in 
receipt of a Cabinet pension 
of ;^2 000 a year, died worth 
-^354,687 : 15 : 9, it was 
assumed that the executors 
would make haste to repay 
with compound interest the 
aggregate of the pension 
drawn. There had evidently 
been a mistake somewhere. 
The pension of ex-Cabinet 
Ministers is a plan devised 
towards the middle of the 
century with the commend- 
able object of preventing 
statesmen out of office from 
suffering in their personal 
estate. Proportionately the 
emoluments of Ministers who serve the British Crown are 
pitiful. Mr. Gladstone, who for more than sixty years 

261 




' A PENSIONER. 



262 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

devoted his time to the service of the country, died leaving 
a personal fortune amounting to about one-seventh of that 
bequeathed by Mr. Villiers. Mr. Gladstone never drew the 
pension of an ex-Cabinet Minister, taking his salary only 
when in office. At one time he even saved the Exchequer 
the annual amount of a first-class Ministerial salary by 
combining the work of two offices for the remuneration of 
one. 

Mr. Gladstone inherited a modest personal fortune, and 

never had occasion to make the indispensable declaration 

that accompanies application for Cabinet pension 

"QrandCross." , . ,, . . , , 

— that its allotment is necessary in order that 
the suppliant may maintain the position of an ex-Minister of 
the Crown. Mr. Disraeli was in other circumstances, and, 
very properly, availed himself of the privilege of a pension 
the country cheerfully paid. 

Another man of genius whose case the Cabinet pension 
fund fortuitously fits is Lord Cross. There is a general 
impression that he is a man of supreme business capacity, 
whose knowledge of financial affairs in connection with the 
investment of private property is justly valued in the highest 
quarter. There is even a dim notion that he is beneficially 
connected with a flourishing banking institution. This, like 
much other talk about public men, must be a popular 
delusion. Lord Cross is a patriot statesman who, having 
for a brief time enjoyed in succession the emoluments of 
Home Secretary and Secretary of State for India, has for 
many years regularly drawn his i^2000, paid quarterly from 
the pension list. 

When Mr. Villiers began to draw his pension he, like 
Lord Cross, must needs have made the statutory declaration 
A Mistake ^^^.t the money was necessary to enable him to 
Somewhere, maintain a position compatible with his former 
Ministerial office. That the solemn declaration agreed with 
his circumstances at the time is beyond the shadow of 
a doubt. Obviously they must have changed at some later 
period, or the pensioner would not have been in a position to 
bequeath to his nephews something over a third of a million 



1899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 263 

sterling. Mr. Arthur Balfour, approached last Session on the 
subject, privately intimated to the member who placed the 
question on the paper that, in his opinion, the published 
statement of Mr. Villiers's personalty did not affect the 
question of the pension. He had, Mr. Balfour said, been 
enriched by the bequeathal of the fortune of a lady, but 
had resolutely declined to benefit by the bequest, now 
transferred to his heirs. 

There is evidently a serious misunderstanding here, 
either on Mr. Balfour's part or on that of the member with 
whom he communicated. The lady in question was Miss 
Mellish, who died at her residence in Great Stanhope Street 
on the 17th of February 1880. She left personal estate 
sworn under ;^ 120,000 value. This she bequeathed in trust 
to pay the income to Mr. Villiers during his life, it passing 
absolutely on Mr. Villiers's death to another gentleman, 
named co-executor with him. These yearly payments, 
accruing only since 1880, would not amount to anything 
like £^S4,68y, not to mention the fifteen and ninepence. 

I understand that during the present Session an attempt 
will be made to enforce a regulation preventing recurrence 
of this scandal. Some years ago an ex-Liberal 

,_.. I, ., ,- ... ,- A parallel Case. 

Mmister, who at a particular date found himself 
in a position to make the statutory declaration which is an 
essential preliminary to receiving such pension, came into a 
fortune. Whilst in his mind was crystallising the simply 
honest intention of writing to the Treasury to inform them 
of his good fortune, and begging that his name might be 
removed from the pension list, hon. gentlemen seated 
opposite in the House of Commons, zealous for public 
economy, began to move in the matter. Questions were 
with relentless pertinacity addressed to the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer, who was speedily able to announce that the 
pension was stopped. 

What is needed is a further regulation that once a year, 
or at least triennially, recipients of these pensions shall be 
required to renew their declaration as to the condition of 

^ Mr. Shaw-Lefevre. 



264 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 



their private resources. Mr. Villiers had been for so long 
in receipt of a pension granted in recognition of a few years' 
service at the Poor Law Board, that he came to regard it as 
a matter of course, forgetting the definite condition upon 
which it had been allotted. Had he been reminded by some 
such communication as is here suggested, he would have 
awakened to a true sense of the situation, and as an honour- 
able man would forthwith have relinquished the pension, 
possibly even have repaid what he had inadvertently over- 
drawn. 



When the late Lord Barrington, seventh in succession 
to the Irish Viscountcy, was made a peer of the United 
A Romance of Kingdom, people asked why. He had long 
the Peerage, g^t as member for that intelligent constituency 
of Eye, immediately afterwards connected with quite another 
order of statesman (Sir E. Ashmead-Bartlett). He never, 
as far as I remember, took part in debate, and such 
services as he rendered to the State appeared to be ade- 
quately rewarded by his appointment as Vice-Chamberlain 
of the Queen's household. Nevertheless, Lord Beaconsfield, 
finding his Government crushed by the General Election 
of 1880, made haste, before it fell, to make Lord Barrington 
an English peer. 

Members of the House of Commons, ransacking their 
memories for suggestion of reason, recalled how one night, 

whilst Dizzy was still with us 
in the Commons, he, awaken- 
ing from profound reverie, 
could not find his eye-glass. 
He wanted to stick it in his 
right eye and take his accus- 
tomed survey of the House. 
With a haste and perturbation 
foreign to his impassive man- 
ner, he rooted about in the 
recesses of his waistcoat, tugged at his shirt-collar, peered on 
the ground at his feet, had given it up for a bad job, when 




"THE LOST EYE-GLASS." 



1 899 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



265 



Lord Barrington, who was sitting near him, quietly put his 
hand between the Premier's shoulders and brought round the 
errant glass. 

Dizzy, though not demonstrative, never forgot a friend 
or a favour. So it came about five years later, when the 
reins of power were slipping out of his fingers, he held them 
for a moment longer to give Lord Barrington a seat in the 
House of Lords and a place on the roll of the English peer- 
age. At least, that was what was said at the time in the 
private conversation of Lord Barrington's friends. 



The late Lord Herschell ^ made his mark in the House 
of Commons at the very first opportunity. I have occasion 

Herscheii's t<^ remember it, for the mem- 
Maiden Speech, ber for the City of Durham, 
after he came to the Woolsack, more 
than once alluded in terms of quite 
undeserved kindness to an episode con- 
nected with the event. When Herschell 
came into Parliament he was quite un- 
known outside Bar and Circuit circles. 
Over a space of a quarter of a century 
I well remember how one night there 
rose from the third bench above the 
gangway, on the Opposition side, a 
dark-visaged, self-possessed, deliberately 
spoken young man, who, making his 
maiden speech, addressed the House as 
if he had been born and nurtured on 
the premises. The topic was the De- 
ceased Wife's Sister Bill, the audience 
small, and not demonstratively appre- 
ciative. I was much struck with the 
new-comer's capacity and promise, and lord herschell— a 

, , /Ti-i\.i •! SKETCH IN THE LOBBY. 

noted them (I thnik) m the articles 

" Under the Clock " then commencing in The World. 

In later years praise and appreciation came full-handed 

1 Died 1899. 




266 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

to the Solicitor-General, the Lord Chancellor, the chosen 
representative of Great Britain in International conferences. 
Lord Herschell, not given to gushing, more than once said 
that appreciation coming at that particular time was more 
useful in its encouragement, more gratefully remembered, 
than was the din of applause that greeted and sustained his 
prime. 

Herschell did admirably in the House of Commons, 
steadily working his way through it to the Woolsack. But 

he was at his 

.In the Lords. 

best in the 
House of Lords. The place, 
its surroundings, and its 
associations were more in 
unison with his unemotion- 
able, somewhat cold, stately 
nature and manner. He 
had not the light touch 
that delights a jaded House 
of Commons. He always 
spoke as if he were seated, 
wigged and gowned, on the 
Bench, never varying from 
judicial manner. In the 

LORD HERSCHELL AS LORD CHANCELLOR. -LOrdS, WllllSt tlie Same StylC 

was prevalent, there was 
something in the prevailing atmosphere, and in the relative 
position of the party to which he belonged and the over- 
whelming numbers opposed to it, that stirred the depths of 
his nature. When he stepped aside from the Woolsack to 
take part in debate, he spoke with an animation of voice 
and gesture quite unfamiliar with him in the Commons. 
Perhaps the associations of the wig and gown with their 
memories of assize conflict had something to do with 
the increased animation. However that be, it was strongly 
marked, and added considerably to the effect of his speech. 

As years advanced and honours increased, Herschell's 
conscientiousness, his shrinking from any step that savoured 




1899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 267 

of a job, grew in predominance. He raised quite a storm 
by his disinclination to make use of the magis- 
terial Bench as a means of distributing rewards 
among good Liberals. The same extreme, perhaps morbid, 
delicacy ruled his conduct in the appointment of judges. 
There was a time during his Lord Chancellorship when 
the long-overlooked claim of Mr. Arthur Cohen to a judge- 
ship seemed certain of recognition. Everybody said Cohen 
would be the new judge. Lord Herschell did not question 
his capacity or suitability. But Mr. Cohen had sat in the 
House of Commons for Southwark, and had taken active 
part in furthering the cause of the Liberal party. Herschell 
felt conscious of a disposition to recognise party services of 
that character and lived them down. Some one else who 
had done nothing for the Liberal party got the judgeship. 

" Cohen at least oughtn't to be surprised," said one of 
the wittiest judges still in ermine.^ " He would know that 
he could not expect anything from a Jew but a passover." 

I once asked the late Sir William Adam, the popular 
and able Liberal Whip of the 1874 Parliament, why Whips 
stand or walk about the lobby without their whips and 
hats on. " I don't know," he answered, with "^t*- 
Scottish caution, " unless it be to keep their heads cool. 
That, you know, is a necessary condition of success in our 
line of business." 

That a Whip should never wear his hat whilst the 
House is in Session is one of the quaint unwritten laws of 
Parliament. Its origin, like the birth of Jeames, is " wropt 
in myst'ry." It probably arose in the case of some 
hot-blooded, bustling Whip, who found head-gear heating. 
However it be, the custom has reached the status of an 
immutable law. It would not be more surprising to see the 
Speaker sitting bare-headed in the Chair when the Mace is 
on the table than to find the chief Whips, or any one of 
their colleagues, going about his business in the lobby with 
hat on. 

^ Lord Justice Mathew. 



268 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 



So intimate is the association of ideas, that when one 
day last Session Lord Stalbridge looked in and stood for 

a while by the door of the lobby 
with his hat on, old members 
gasped. It is many years since 
Lord Stalbridge, then Lord 
Richard Grosvenor, acted as 
Whip. So abiding are old 
associations that it was not 
without a shock he, after long 
interval, was observed wearing 
his hat in his old place on 
guard by the door, where he had 
instinctively planted himself 

The fascination which per- 
tains to the office of Whip 
is incomprehensible ^he Came, of 

to some minds. It the House of 
, 1 , ,1 I Commons. 

is, at best, a thank- 
less post. If things go right 
in the division lobby the result 
is accepted as a matter of 
course. If they go wrong, woe 
to the Whip. He is the camel 
of the House of Commons, 
doing all the drudgery, taking none of the honour. More- 
over, he is not allowed to share the privilege of the camel, 
whose haughty "don't-know-you " air as it regards mankind 
must be some recompense for all the toil and indignity 
it suffers. A Whip, on the contrary, must always be in 
beaming good -humour. Like Caesar's wife (according to 
the version of the Yorkshire mayor), he must be all things 
to all men. 

There was in an elder Parliament a well-known exception 
to the rule that enforces equanimity of temper on the Whip. 
Many members of the present House retain 
memories of a noble lord, now gathered to his 
fathers, who was a terror to evil-doers. It was the epoch 




ON GUARD — SIR WILLIAM WALROND, 
CHIEF CONSERVATIVE WHIP. 



Lord 



1 899 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



269 



of all-night sittings, when fathers of families had a yearning 

desire to go home not later than one o'clock in the morning. 

Seated on the bench by the 

lobby door the Whip, who 

had been up all the previous 

night, might be forgiven if 

he dropped asleep. But he 

slept with one eye and one 

ear open. The anxious 

parent, closely watching 

him and timidly making for 

the door, never did more 

than touch its framework 

before a hand was on his 

shoulder, and there rattled 

in his ear observations which 

seemed quotations from the 

conversation of our army 

when in Flanders. 

That was an exceptional 
personal idiosyncrasy, and 
the energetic remonstrator 

was not the Chief Whip. He was useful in his way. But 
his particular method of address had no precedent and has 
not been imitated. 

The attraction of the Whips' office is certainly not based 
on pecuniary considerations. The Patronage Secretary has 
a salary of i^20oo a year, his colleagues, who jhe Prizes of 
rank as Junior Lords of the Treasury, receiving the whips* 
half that sum. When their party is out of *"""' 
office, the Whips, with very nearly as much work to do, 
draw no pay. It is true that the Whips' room is the rarely 
failing avenue to higher Ministerial office. In two recent 
cases, that of Mr. Brand and Mr. Peel, it led to the Speaker's 
Chair and a peerage. Mr. Arnold Morley was made Post- 
master-General ; Sir William Dyke became Vice-President 
of the Council ; his colleague, Mr. Rowland Winn, being 
made a peer. The present First Commissioner of Works 




THE LATE MR. T. E. ELLIS — CHIEF 
LIBERAL WHIP. 



270 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

was long time Conservative Whip. The late Colonel 
Taylour was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. 
The long services of Sir William Adam received niggardly 
reward by appointment to the Governorship of Madras. 

In former times the Chief Government Whip, who still 
retains the style of Patronage Secretary, had a multitude of 
good things to give away. Beginning his career fifty years 
ago, and not having his steps directed towards the Woolsack, 
the Patronage Secretaryship would have just suited Lord 
Halsbury. Now the Patronage Secretaryship is, like friend- 
ship, " but a name." The Chief Whip has nothing in his 
wallet for hungry dependants, or for influential constituents 
— not even a tide-waitership or a country postmastership. 
Nevertheless the post of Whip continues to wield potent 
fascination for young, active, and ambitious members of the 
House. It is a life of constant, in the main, obscure 
drudgery. 

The great gilt instrument that rests upon the table of 

the House of Commons, when the Speaker is in the Chair, 

is the third of its race. The first that lives in 

The Mace. 

history has no birth-date. But its disappearance 
is authoritatively recorded. On or about the very day when 
Charles I. lost his head on the scaffold, the Mace of the 
House of Commons disappeared. Probably some stern 
Roundhead, his Puritanic gorge rising at spectacle of a 
symbol, put the Mace in the melting-pot and the proceeds 
of the transaction in his pocket. However it be, the first 
Mace was seen in its resting-place on such and such a day, 
and, like ships posted up at Lloyd's, has not since been 
heard of 

When Cromwell came into power, and Parliamentary 
proceedings were resumed, he ordered another Mace to be 
made. This lives in history as the bauble which, later, 
Cromwell himself ordered to be taken away. His command 
was literally obeyed. The second Mace was so effectually 
removed that, like the first, it was never more seen or 
heard of. 



i899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 271 

The Mace which now glistens on the table of the House 
of Commons, and is carried before the Speaker when he 
visits the House of Lords, is of considerable antiquity. It 
was made in 1660, on the restoration of Charles II. It is 
watched over with infinite care, being through the Session 
in personal charge of the Serjeant-at-Arms. During the 
recess it is, as was the wont and usage of traitors in olden 
times, committed to the Tower, where it is guarded as not 
the least precious among the jewels of the Crown. 

Whilst Lord Peel was yet Speaker of the House of 
Commons, he, from information received, was momentarily 
flushed with hope that Cromwell's Mace had "ooneto 
been discovered in Jamaica. Diligent inquiry Jamaica." 
on the spot blighted this hope. It turned out that there 
are two Maces in the Colony, but they are comparatively 




THE MACE OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. 



modern, dating from the uninteresting Georgian period. 
One, like the lamp-posts in the neighbourhood of St. James's 
Palace, has stamped on its head the initials " G. R." There 
is the date-mark, 1753-4. The other is stamped with the 
King's head, and the date-mark 1757-8. Both are silver gilt. 
The Speaker's inquiries brought to light the interesting 
fact that Jamaica at one time possessed a Mace presented to 
the Colony by Charles II. Doubtless it was ordered at the 
same time as the one at present in the House of Commons. 
It cost nearly .^80, and was conveyed to Jamaica by Lord 
Windsor, the first Governor commissioned by Charles II. 
By an odd coincidence this Mace also disappeared. In 
1672 Jamaica suffered one of its not infrequent earthquakes. 
Parliament House was amongst the many public buildings 
in Port Royal that were engulfed. It is believed that King 
Charles's Mace went down with the rest. However it be, 
like Cromwell's bauble, it has vanished from human ken. 



272 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

Referring to a recent note about a member of the present 
House of Commons, originally a clergyman of the Church of 
Baptism by England, who inadvertently united a blushing 
Immersion, bride with the best man instead of with the bride- 
groom, another member writes to remind me of even a worse 
case of absent-mindedness. The reverend gentleman in this 
case was George Dyer, an intimate friend of Charles Lamb. 
Early in his career he did duty as a Baptist minister, his 
ministration being on the whole not unattended with success. 
One day, performing the rite of baptism by total immersion, 
he fell into a train of profound thought, meanwhile holding 
an old woman under water till she was drowned. 

This led to some unpleasantness, and Mr. Dyer retired 
from the ministry. But he never overcame his proneness to 
absent-mindedness. One night, on leaving Charles Lamb's 
hospitable house, he walked straight ahead out of the front 
door plump into the New River. 

Lord Rathmore has many good stories. One, not the 
worst, is autobiographical. Shortly after he was raised to 

the peerage he took a trip to the Riviera. The 
mentofanew French railway company, desirous to do honour 

to a distinguished English co?if}'ere, reserved a 
carriage for his private use. He made the most of the 
opportunity, getting a good sleep shortly after leaving Paris 
on the journey south. At some unknown hour of the night, 
at some unrecognised station, the door of the carriage was 
suddenly opened. A lantern was flashed upon him, and a 
voice sharply cried, " Voire nom ? " 

Lord Rathmore, wakened out of his sleep, looking up in 
a partly dazed condition, discovered a railway official on his 
way round for tickets. Lord Rathmore's name was on the 
paper affixed to the window, marking the compartment as 
reserved. The official, in performance of his duty, and 
with that passion for regularising everything which besets 
Frenchmen in uniform, merely desired to identify the occu- 
pant of the carriage with the person to whose use it was 
inscribed. 



1 899 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



273 



" Voire nom ? " he sternly repeated, seeing the passenger 
hesitate. 

In response there sprang to Lord Rathmore's lips the 
familiar " David Plunket." Happily he remembered in time 
that he was no longer David Plunket, but for the life of him, 
wakened out of his sleep, and thus abruptly challenged, he 




"WHAT ON EARTH IS MY NAME?" 



could not remember what title in the peerage he had 
selected. 

Here was a pickle ! Any one familiar with the arbitrary 
ways of the French railway official will know what would 
have happened supposing the passenger had confessed that 
he really did not know his own name. Cold sweat bedewed 
the forehead a coronet had not yet pressed. The new peer 
began to regret more bitterly than ever that he had left the 
House of Commons. The interval seemed half an hour. 
Probably it was only half a minute before recollection of his 
new name surged back upon him, and he hurriedly but 
gratefully pronounced it. 



CHAPTER XXII 



JUNE 



■Tom" Ellis. 



The Lobby does not yet look itself, lacking the cheery, 
bustling presence of poor Tom Ellis. It is a significant 
peculiarity, shared with very few members, that 
the late Liberal Whip was always spoken of by 
the diminutive of his Christian name. Another Whip, also 

like Lydias and Tom Ellis dead 
ere his prime, won the distinction. 
Through the angriest days of Mr. 
Parnell's ruthless campaign against 
the dignity of Parliament and the 
stability of its ancient institutions, 
his cheery, warm-hearted, mirth - 
loving Whip was always " Dick " 
Power. To-day we happily still 
have with us Sir Robert Threshie 
Reid, Q.C., sometime Solicitor- 
General, later Attorney-General, in the House of Commons 
always " Bob " Reid. These two instances show the kind 
of man the House delights to honour by this rare mark of 
friendly feeling. 

It was a bold stroke on the part of Lord Rosebery, at 
the time Prime Minister, to promote the member for 
Merionethshire to the post of Chief Ministerial Whip on 
the submergence of Mr. Marjoribanks in the House of Lords, 

274 




TOM ELLIS. 



i899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 275 

With Liberals only less exclusively than with the Conser- 
vative party, it has, from time immemorial, been a daring 
the custom to appoint as Chief Whip a scion of Experiment, 
the peerage, or a commoner sanctified by connection with an 
old county family. Tom Ellis had neither call to the high 
position. His father was a tenant farmer. He himself was 
a Welsh member, having neither social standing nor 
pecuniary resources. To make such a man what is still 
known by the ancient style of Patronage Secretary was a 
bold experiment. That even at the outset it was not 
resented by the party is a striking tribute to Tom Ellis's 
character. 

It would not be true to say that, in private conversation, 
heads were not shaken, and that tongues did not wag appre- 
hension that the thing would never do. The new Whip 
speedily lived down these not unnatural and scarcely ill- 
natured doubts. He had a sweet serenity of temper 
impervious to pin-pricks, a sunny nature before which spite 
thawed. It was an immense lift for a young, obscure Welsh 
member at a bound to be made the confidant of Cabinet 
Ministers, the trusted agent and instrument of the most 
powerful governing body in the world. It did not even 
begin to spoil him. There was no difference between Tom 
Ellis, member for Merionethshire, and Tom Ellis, Chief 
Ministerial Whip, except perhaps that the latter was more 
diffident in his demeanour, a shade nearer being deferential 
in his intercourse with fellow-members. His most marked 
failing was his extreme modesty — unique default in a 
Parhamentary Whip. It did not, however, cover weakness 
of will or hesitancy when he heard the call of duty. He 
was genuinely sorry if any particular course for the adoption 
or the carrying out of which he was responsible hurt any- 
body's feelings, or did not fully accord with one's material 
interests. If a thing had to be done, it was got through, 
smilingly, gently, but firmly. 

Tom Ellis was so unassuming in manner, so persistently 
deprecatory of his own claims to thanks or approval, that 
his great capacity was often underestimated. Alike in the 



276 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 



House of Commons and in Parliament Street we have time 
now to sum it up at its real value. 

The Prime Minister rarely takes notes as a preliminary 

to taking part in a debate. Among many instances of this 

j^^^ habit I well remember his speech on the second 

Salisbury's reading of the Home Rule Bill in the Session 

emory. ^^ I 893. He sat out the course of long and, on 

the first night, dreary speaking in his familiar attitude, with 

head bowed, legs 
crossed, the right one 
persistently shaken in 
fashion tending to 
drive mad neighbours 
of nervous habit. He 
did not as he listened 
take a single note. 
When at ten o'clock 
on the second night 
of the debate he stood 
at the table, he laid 
upon it a square of 
paper about the size 
of an ordinary en- 
velope. This presum- 
ably contained the 
notes of his speech 
brought down from 
his study. If so, 
they were almost entirely ignored. He went steadily on, 
his speech a stately river of perfectly -turned phrases. 
He omitted no point in the argument of speakers in 
favour of the Bill, and more than once quoted them 
textually. 

That, a by no means infrequent occurrence, is the chiefest 
marvel. Debaters most chary of note-taking invariably write 
down the very words of an earlier speaker when they intend 
to cite them in support of their argument. A sentence 
that strikes Lord Salisbury is burnt in upon his memory. 




"SITTING OUT A DEBATE." 



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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



277 



Note-takers. 



When the proper moment comes he quotes it without lapsing 
into paraphrase. 

A colleague of the Premier's tells me he once spoke 
to him admiringly of this wonderful gift. Lord Salisbury 
explained that he adopted the habit from necessity rather 
than from choice. He felt hopelessly hampered with written 
notes, often finding difficulty in reading them. Feeling the 
necessity of mastering the precise turns of particular phrases 
as they dropped from the lips of a debater, he gives himself 
up to the task, and rarely finds himself at fault. 

Mr. Arthur Balfour in lesser degree shares his uncle's 
gift of precise memory. When, as happened this Session, 
he has to expound an intricate measure like 
the London Government Bill, he provides himself 
with sheafs of notes, and his speech suffers in perspicacity 
accordingly. That laboriously prepared effort was his one 
failure of the Session. As a rule he is exceedingly frugal 
in the matter of note-taking. More frequently than other- 
wise he speaks without 
the assistance of notes. 
Like Mr. Gladstone, Sir 
William Harcourt, and all 
Parliamentary debaters of 
the first rank, he is at his 
best when, suddenly called 
upon, he plunges into 
chance debate. 

Sir William Harcourt 
is a voluminous note-taker, 
his big, as distinguished 
from his great, speeches 
being almost entirely read 
from an appalling pile of 
manuscript. Mr. Cham- 
berlain rarely trusts him- 
self in the sea of debate without the bladder of notes. But 
they are not extended. A sheet of note-paper usually 
serves for their setting forth. 




MR. CHAMBERLAIN TAKES A NOTE. 



278 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

The new Viceroy of India ^ was more fortunate in the 

attitude of public opinion towards his appointment than was 

a predecessor nominated exactly thirty years 

Lord Mayo. ^ J J J 

earlier. When Mr. Disraeli made Lord Mayo 
Governor-General of India, the announcement was hailed 
with a storm of opprobrium from newspapers not marshalled 
solely on the Opposition side. The Viceroy-designate was 
chiefly known to the House of Commons and the public by 
a once-famous, now forgotten, speech, delivered in the spring 
of 1868. John Francis Maguire, forerunner of the Parnellite 
organisation, submitted a series of resolutions on the con- 
dition of Ireland. In the course of his speech he dwelt upon 
the evil effects wrought to his country by the existence of 
the Irish Church. That was the burning question of the 
hour. A month later, Mr. Gladstone's Resolution decreeing 
the disestablishment of the Church was carried in the teeth 
of the Ministry by a large majority. It was known that the 
pending General Election would turn upon the issue. Lord 
Mayo, at the time Irish Secretary, was put up to answer 
Mr. Maguire. 

There are some (exceedingly few) members of the present 
House who recall the speech and the scene. For four hours 
the Irish Secretary floundered along. Just as he seemed to 
be collapsing from physical exhaustion, shared by his 
audience, he pulled himself together and spluttered out a 
sentence that instantly agitated the House. Mr. Maguire 
had denounced the Church Establishment as a scandalous 
and monstrous anomaly. The Irish Secretary, hinting at a 
scheme for making all religious denominations in Ireland 
happy without sacrificing the Established Church, talked 
about " levelling up, not levelling down." 

The phrase was instantly recognised as coming from the 
mint of the Mystery Monger sitting with bowed head and 
folded arms on the Treasury Bench. What did it mean ? 
Was Dizzy going to dish Gladstone by dealing with the 
Irish Church question before the enemy got the chance ? 
No one off the Treasury Bench ever knew. Some day the 

^ Lord Curzon. 



i899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 279 

mystery may be unravelled. Up to this time Lord Mayo 
fills the position of 

Him who left half- told 

The story of Cambuscan bold. 

On the last day of July in the same year Parliament was 
dissolved, and within a week it was whispered that Lord 
Mayo was to be the new Governor-General of India. Exile 
seemed a just punishment for a four hours' speech murmured 
before a hapless House of Commons. But there was a 
general impression that this kind of exile was, in the 
circumstances, too splendid. 

One of Lord Mayo's intimate friends who saw the new 

Viceroy off on his journey to India tells me a curious incident 

illustrative of the situation. Expressing hope of 

... . ^ ^u \r "Many a Slip." 

some time lookmg m to see the Viceroy at 
Calcutta, or Simla, Lord Mayo said : " You may see me 
again much sooner than that. I should not be a bit surprised 
if, when I get to Suez, I find a telegram recalling me." 

Since his appointment, and pending his departure, 
Mr. Gladstone had been returned by a majority that placed 
him in a position of autocratic supremacy. There was, un- 
questionably, something out of the way in the haste with 
which the fallen Government had filled up the greatest 
prize at their disposal. There was at the time no question 
of the possibility of Lord Derby's Administration being rein- 
stated. As my friend (a Conservative member of the last 
Parliament elected under the Reform Bill of 1832) put it, 
" Defeated about twice a week in the House of Commons, 
going to certain doom in the country, Dizzy pitchforked 
Mayo on to the Viceregal throne." It would have been a 
strong course to recall him, but the circumstances were un- 
precedented. 

Certainly Lord Mayo did not feel safe till he had 
passed Suez, going forward on a journey which, three years 
later, the assassin's knife ended on the Andaman Islands. 
Meanwhile, " Dizzy's dark horse " had come in the first 
flight in the race for enduring fame among Indian Viceroys. 



28o 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 



In I 8 1 6 Sir Robert Peel, then Chief Secretary, wrote : 

" I believe an honest despotic Government would be by far 

After many the fittest government for Ireland." Sixteen 

Days. years later Lord Althorp, another statesman 

not prone to form a rash opinion, wrote to Lord Grey : " If 

I had my way I would establish a dictatorship in Ireland." 

The Irish members complain that what was refused to 
Peel, to Althorp, and to a long list of statesmen directly 

concerned for the gov- 
ernment of Ireland 
has been granted to 
so mild a mannered 
man as Mr. Gerald 
Balfour. His appear- 
ance is certainly out 
of keeping with the 
part. But, as the Irish 
members found one 
Friday night this Ses- 
sion, when Mr. Davitt 
brought up the case 
of distress in Ireland, 
within the Chief Sec- 
retary's fragile frame, 
behind his almost 
maidenly reserve, glow 
embers of a fire that can, upon occasion, be fanned into 
furious flame. 




THE CHIEF secretary's FRAGILE FRAME. 



An ancient House of Commons' tradition tells how the 
Speaker of the day, having solemnly threatened a member 
Peers and ^^^^ ^^ would " name him " if he did not refrain 
Elections, from disorderly conduct, was asked what would 
follow on the proceeding. " The Lord only knows," re- 
sponded the Speaker. 

Early in the present Session there came to the front two 
other examples of consecrated cryptic doom. At the open- 
ing of every Session the Speaker, amid a buzz of conversation 



1 899 



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281 



among reunited members, reads a series of Standing Orders. 
One forbids any peer of Parliament to concern himself in 
the election of members to the House of Commons. For 
generations this formula has passed unchallenged. The peers 
have been solemnly warned off, have received the injunction 
in submissive silence, and (some of them) have taken the 
earliest opportunity of disregarding it. 

It is a frailty of the human mind that repetition blunts 
the power of discrimination. Hearing this Order read Session 
after Session, old members grow so accustomed to the rhythm 
of its sentences that their purport passes unheeded. Young 
members make no move, not because they 
lack presumption, but because they believe 
that what has been so long endured must 
necessarily be right. 

It needed a man of the mental and 
physical youth of Mr. James Lowther to 
put his finger on this anomaly. This 
Session, as in one or two of its prede- 
cessors, he has moved to expunge the 
Standing Order from the catalogue. He 
has shown, and no one has disputed the 
fact, that in spite of its pompous assump- 
tion of authority the rule is absolutely 
impotent. If a peer pleases to violate the 
ordinance the House of Commons has 
absolutely no power to enforce it. With 
an ordinary business assembly that would 
suffice to make an end of the absurdity. 
The conservatism of the House of Com- 
mons in respect of its own procedure is 
deeply rooted. Mr. Lowther's motion was 
rejected by a considerable majority, and 
next Session, as through the ages, this brutum fuhneti will 
be hurled from the Speaker's Chair. 

The analogous anomaly that cropped up in debate was 
the position of truant members of Select Committees. 
Members are nominated to the Committee on a private Bill 




" MENTAL AND 
PHYSICAL youth" — 
MR. JAMES LOWTHER. 



282 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 



by a body called the Committee of Selection, over which, 

for just a quarter of a century, Sir John Mowbray 

^thfZ7seof presided. Committee-men are expected to 

Commons' attend the various sittings. If they do not, the 

Chairman reports the delinquents to the House, 

and a formal motion is made, that the errant member " do 

attend the said Committee at half- past eleven to-morrow." 

Of late Sessions the House, sensible of the false position 
it was placed in by this procedure, has varied it. Instead 
of the formal injunction that used to appear on the votes 
commanding the attendance of the peccant member, the 
report is simply ordered to lie on the table. 

A very proper distinction in this matter is made between 
the sacred persons of members of the House and mere 

citizens. It ^iithe 

sometimes Difference. 

happens that a busy 
man summoned to give 
evidence before a Select 
Committee of the House 
of Commons fails to 
obey the summons. 

Then doth the 
thunder roll and the 
lightning flash. The 
Chairman hurries off to 
tell the shameful story 
to the shocked House. 
A peremptory order is 
issued for the attend- 
ance of the recalcitrant 
witness, and the Ser- 
jeant-at-Arms is in- 
structed to see that it 
be obeyed. A com- 
munication by post, or by messenger if the witness reside 
within the Metropolitan area, usually brings him up to the 
scratch at the appointed place and hour. If he pushes 




' THE SERJEANT-AT-ARMS WILL GO AND 
FETCH HIM." 



i899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 283 

resistance to extreme the Serjeant-at-Arms will go and fetch 
him vi et armis. He will be brought to the Bar of the 
House and committed to the Clock Tower till purged of his 
contumacy. 

In Mr. Gregory's Letter Box, being the correspondence 
of the Right Hon. Wm. Gregory from 1813 to 1835, he 
during the greater part of that time being Under ^ 

o o -c^ o Demag:og:ues 

Secretary for Ireland, there is quoted a striking in the House: 
sentence from Canning. " I have never," he said, ^' ^"^^ ^' 
" seen a demagogue who did not shrink to his proper dimen- 
sions after six months of Parliamentary life." 

This acute observation remains as true to-day as it was 
in the earlier Parliaments Canning adorned and occasionally 
dominated. Two modern instances suffice to prove the case. 
When, in 1875, Dr. Kenealy entered the House, triumphantly 
returned by the men of Stoke, he was an undoubted power 
in the land. I remember Mr. Adam, then Opposition Whip, 
showing me an appalling list of constituencies, some held by 
Liberals, others by Conservatives, common in the peculiarity 
that if a vacancy occurred the next day Kenealy could return 
his nominee. He was conscious of his power, and meant 
to make the House of Commons feel its influence. The 
crowded benches that attended his utterances furnished 
flattering testimony to his power and the interest excited by 
his personality. 

On the occasion of his first appearance, the House was 
filled as it had not been since critical divisions on the Irish 
Land Bill, or the Irish Church Bill, of the pre- „ . 

' ' ^ Dewdrops on 

ceding Parliament. Amongst the spectators from the uon's 
the galleries over the clock were the Prince of 
Wales, Prince Christian, and the ex-King of Naples, at the 
time a visitor to London. Mr. Evelyn Ashley, at the safe 
distance of the Isle of Wight, had been saying something 
about Kenealy, who made it a question of privilege. In 
this speech was set that gem of oratory remembered long 
after the rest is forgotten. 

" Of one thing I am certain," said Kenealy, in deep 



284 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 



chest-notes, wagging his head and his fore-finger, as through 
many days of the Tichborne trial they had wagged at 
hostile witnesses and an unsympathetic judge, " that the 
calumnious reflections thrown on my character will recoil on 
their authors. As for me, I shake them off as the lion 
shakes the dewdrops from his mane." 

Before his first Session closed, Kenealy flickered out 
like a damp torch. He tried again and again to obtain a 
footing in the House. Without being rudely repelled he 
was set back, and long before the Parliament ran its course 
he became a nonentity. 

Mr. Keir Hardie, a man on an infinitely lower plane than 

Kenealy, who, after all, was a consummate scholar and 

Mr. Keir displayed occasional flashes of genius, is a later 

Hardie. illustration of the truth of Canning's axiom. He 

came in in 1892 as member for West Ham, numbered among 

the narrow majority of forty that 
placed Mr. Gladstone in pre- 
carious power. From the first 
he made it clear that he was no 
hack — like Mr. Burt, for example 
— but would let bloated patricians 
know that the working man is 
their master. To that end he 
wore the Cap of Liberty, of 
somewhat dingy, weather-worn 
cloth. Also he sported a short 
jacket, a pair of trousers frayed 
at the heel, a flannel shirt of 
dubious colour, and a shock of 
uncombed hair. 

His appearance on the scene 
kindled keen anticipation in 
the breast of Lord Randolph 
Churchill, who saw in him a 
dangerous element in the Minis- 
The member for West Ham did his best 
At the outset the House 




ENTER MR. KEIR HARDIE. 



terial majority. 

to justify that expectation. 



1 899 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



285 



listened to him with its inbred courtesy and habitual desire 
to allow every member, however personally inconsiderable, 
full freedom of speech. It soon found out that Mr. Keir 
Hardie was as sounding brass or tinkling cymbal. His 
principal effort to justify his appearance on the Parliamentary 
staee was a motion made in his second Session 
to discuss the widespread destitution among 
members of the working classes. He rose 
after questions, claiming to have the matter 
discussed as one of urgent public import- 
ance. When the Speaker asked if he were 
supported by the statutory number of forty, 
only thirty-six rose. The bulk of members, 
not unmindful of the prevalent condition of 
the working man or unwilling to help him, 
did not care to march under Mr. Keir 
Hardie's flag. His six months of probation 
were over, and he had shrunk to his proper 
dimensions. When the dissolution came he, 
almost unobserved, sank below the Parliamentary horizon 




EXIT MR. KEIR 
HARDIE." 



The baths recently added to the luxuries of the House 
of Commons have been so much appreciated, that there is 
prospect of necessity for extension. The accom- J^^^ Pariia- 
modation is certainly poverty-stricken, compared mentary Bath. 
with that at the disposal of denizens of the Capitol at 
Washington. The baths that serve America's legislators 
are luxuriously fitted below the basement, approach being 
gained by a service of lifts. Each marble tank is set in 
a roomy chamber, furnished with every appliance of the 
dressing-room. During the progress of an important debate 
there is a great run on the bath-room, it being at Washington 
the legislative habit to take a bath preliminary to delivery 
of an oration. 

In addition to ordinary hot and cold baths there is a 
Russian steam bath. I never saw the like in England. The 
operation commences in a small, windowless room, which 
has for sole furniture a wooden bench, coils of steam-pipes 



286 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 



garlanding the walls. When the door is shut and the steam 
turned on the hon. member gasps in a temperature as hot as 

he is likely to experi- 
ence in this current 
stage of existence. 
When he is parboiled 
he goes through a 
cooling process, begin- 
ning with a tub of hot 
water, and on through 
a succession, the tem- 
perature gradually 
decreasing. 

This process oc- 
cupies an hour and a 
half, and is obviously 
not a luxury to be 
indulged in when an 
important division is 
expected. It is recom- 
mended as admirable 
for rheumatic cases, 
infallible for a cold. 
It might be tried in the House of Commons should it be 
decided to extend the bathing accommodation. 




A RUSSIAN BATH IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

JULY 

When we consider the succession of amendments and 
improvements in Parliamentary procedure that has marked 
the course of the last twenty years, it is reasonable parliamentary 
to expect the factory at Westminster to at least Reforms. 
double its output of legislation. There are in the present House 
some (surprisingly few) members who can recall the good old 
times when the House, commencing public business at half- 
past four, thought Ministers fortunate if the first order of the 
day were reached before seven o'clock. 

In those halcyon days members putting a question 
delighted themselves, their wives and daughters in the 
gallery, by reading aloud its every word. The Irish members, 
quick to see innocent-looking openings for obstruction, 
seized upon what was ironically called the question " hour." 
They put down innumerable questions of prodigious length 
with as much sting directed against the Saxon — particularly 
Mr. Forster and Mr. George Trevelyan, successively Irish 
Secretaries — as the vigilance of the clerks at the table 
permitted. 

This went on for years, the House being relieved of the 
incubus by the intervention of Mr. Joseph Cowen, then 
member for Newcastle. He pointed out that the questions 
being printed on a paper held in every member's hand there 
was no necessity for reading the text, and suggested that 
citation of the number would suffice. The Speaker assented, 

?87 



288 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 



and thus by an unpremeditated stroke the House was relieved 

from an intolerable burden. If there 
is room for more statues in the pre- 
cincts of the House of Commons, or 
for a fresh stained -glass window in 




the Octagon Hall, 



a grateful Legis- 



not 



forget 



" Joe " 



A PARLIAMENTARY BEN 
FACTOR — MR. JOSEPH COWEN. 



lature should 
Cowen. 

There was another outrage on the 
question hour that long survived this 
radical reform. The fact Arising out of 
that there were only ninety tf'at Answer, 
or a hundred printed questions on the 
paper did not, up to a period not 
more distant than the coming of Mr. 
Gully to the Chair, indicate the precise 
amount of time that would be appro- 
priated for the service. When a 
printed question had been replied to, 
up got the gentleman responsible for 
it, and repeating the formula, "Arising 
out of that answer," another question 
was put. Other members above or 
below the gangway, thinly veiling a 
point in the garb of a question, followed, 
a sharp debate lasting over several minutes 



controversial 
and quite 
sprang up. 

Mr. Sexton excelled all others in this art. On an 
average a question on the printed list standing in his name 
was the prelude to five others, each " arising out of the 
answer just given." Not the least valuable of the services 
rendered by Mr. Gully during his occupancy of the Chair has 
been stern repression of this irregularity. The Orders, or 
rather the custom of the House, make it permissible that a 
Minister having replied to a question on the paper a member 
may without notice put a further question designed to 
elucidate a point left obscure. He may not at the moment 
start on a new tack. Under Mr. Gully's alert supervision it 



1 899 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



289 



A famous 
Scene. 



is amazing to find how little a Minister leaves unanswered of 
questions set forth on the paper. 

The deliberate and noisy prolongation of questions was 
only one of the opportunities for obstruction the question 
hour invited mutinous members to avail them- Moving the 
selves of. The license of supplementary questions Adjournment. 
frequently worked the House into an uncontrollable storm of 
passion. In the midst of it would be heard a voice exclaim- 
ing, " I move that this House do now adjourn." The member 
who spoke, however personally obscure, was by the utterance 
of this incantation master of the whole Parliamentary 
proceedings. The business of the day, whatever it might be, 
of whatever range of Imperial importance, was peremptorily 
set aside, and on this formal motion the flood of angry 
temper rushed forth uncontrolled, occupying as much of 
the sitting as physical endurance made possible. 

A little more than nineteen years ago this month there 
was a scene in the House of Commons that 
illustrates the working of what were ironically 
called its rules. Mr. O'Donnell had a question on the paper 
making a violent 
personal attack on 
M. Challemel- 
Lacour, just ap- 
pointed French 
Ambassador at the 
Court of St. James. 
Sir Charles Dilke, 
Under - Secretary 
for Foreign Affairs 
at the, time, made 
due answer. 
Whereupon Mr. 
O'Donnell rose and began to make a speech enlarging on 
the indictment set forth on his printed question. 

That such a course of procedure was permissible will 
appear incredible to members of the present House of 
Commons. Mr. O'Donnell, as usual when 

U 




THE ODONNELL TERROR. 



combating 



290 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

authority in the House of Commons, knew what he was 
about. Attempts being made to stop him, he quietly repHed, 
" I will conclude by a motion," meaning that he would move 
the adjournment of the House. 

Gulliver bound by the manifold threads of the pigmies 
of Liliput was not more helpless than was the Imperial 
House of Commons in the hands of the member for 
Dungarvan. Mr. Gladstone, distraught, took the extreme 
course of moving that Mr. O'Donnell be not heard. That 
was a bold last card for the Premier to play. Mr. Parnell 
easily trumped it. Mr. O'Donnell had moved the adjourn- 
ment of the House. Mr. Parnell now moved the alternative 
obstructive motion — the adjournment of the debate. For 
eight hours by Westminster clock the angry storm of words 
waged. At one o'clock in the morning Mr. O'Donnell 
retired triumphant from the scene, and the wearied House, 
with nice assumption of nothing having happened in the 
interval, proceeded with the list of questions. 

Gentlemen of England, who live at ease in the House of 
Commons in these last days of the century, beginning 
questions at half-past three, with the certainty that the 
Orders of the Day will be reached before half-past four, and 
that all will be over by midnight, find a difficulty in 
believing that, less than twenty years ago, such things might 
be. They were, and it took considerable repetition and 
increased aggravation before the House of Commons shook 
itself free from the chains that bound it. 

Another, a less dramatic, but, by its regular recurrence, 
not less effective, block to the advance of business was the 
older manner of giving notices of motion. Every 
Tuesday evening, when the long labour of 
questions had been lifted from the shoulders of the House, 
the clerk at the table unlocked a box containing a pile of 
slips of paper carefully wrapped up. These were notices of 
motion, and the receptacle was the ballot-box. In full view 
of the watchful House the clerk, dipping the outstretched 
fingers of both hands into the mass, lifted them up and 
stirred them about as if he were publicly making a 



1899 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



291 



plum-pudding. This was designed to avoid suspicion of 
favouritism. Selecting at random one of the folded pieces 
of paper, he opened it and read aloud the number. The 
Speaker, referring to a long catalogue, called the name of the 
member to which the number was attached. Thereupon the 
member rose and 
recited the terms 
of a resolution he 
proposed to submit 
or the name of a 
Bill he desired to 
introduce. 

On the first 
night of the Session 
four Tuesdays may 
be balloted for. It 
being the rule that 
a day for private 
members' motions 
may be secured only 
a month ahead, it 
follows that the 
weekly ballot there- 
after presented only one opportunity — " this day four weeks." 
Nevertheless, the whole box of tricks was gone through. 
Every folded paper was opened, the number called out by 
the clerk at the table, and the corresponding name on the 
list cited by the Speaker. Then would the stranger in the 
gallery be mystified by observing member after member, 
his name cried from the Chair, respond by mutely raising 
his hat. The prize of that day four weeks had been 
snatched by another hand. Nothing remained. The 
succeeding proceedings were a mere formula, an absolute 
waste of presumably precious time. Nevertheless the box 
had always been scrupulously emptied, the list gone through 
to the bitter and far-off end. 

So year after year, in entirely altered circumstances, with 
\he Jin-de-siecle device of syndicates in full practice " nobbling " 




MAKING A PUDDING. 



292 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

the ballot, the old order of things prevailed. Just as a flock 
of sheep observing the leader leap over an imaginary obstacle 
jump at precisely the same spot, so the House of Commons, 
the highest development of British intelligence, carried on 
this ludicrous game. 

Only a few Sessions ago the Speaker introduced the 
practice of inquiring as soon as the available Tuesday was 
appropriated whether any other members have motions to 
bring forward. Of course they have not. The box is shut 
up, the list laid down, and the business of the day proceeded 
with. 

Once the hand of Parliament is put to the plough of 

reform of procedure it makes a deep, long furrow. Another 

... . ., tradition which long dominated the House of 

"Arrived In ° 

Town for the Commons was that private members should on 
ession. ^j^^ opening day publicly announce their legis- 
lative intentions. This was called giving notice of motions. 
It was all very well in the days when the number was limited 
to a dozen or at most a score. In these days, with special 
wires to provincial newspaper offices, and with London 
correspondents on the look - out for the doings of local 
members, the situation is changed. Much as people coming 
to town for the season leave cards on a circle of friends 
advertising their arrival, so modern members of Parliament 
let their constituents know they are at their post by the 
cheap contrivance of giving notice of motion on the opening 
day of the Session. 

In recent times the average aggregate number exceeded 
two hundred. The business was carried on by the process 
described of the ballot-box and the list in the Speaker's 
hand. An hour, sometimes an hour and a half, of the 
freshest day of the Session was occupied with a performance 
that had no recommendation save its free advertising. 
Now the balloting is done by the clerks in a Committee- 
room upstairs, and a working hour of the Session is saved. 

There remains an obvious consequential reform, whose 
accomplishment cannot be long delayed. Private members 
having had a field-day on the first night of the Session, 



i899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 293 

have another performance all to themselves on the second 
day. This is called " Bringing in Bills " — a Bringing 
tiresome, objectless performance that might be '" B'"*- 
dispensed with without injuring the foundations of the State. 
The Speaker, reading from his list, recites the name of a Bill, 
and asks, " Who is prepared to bring in this Bill ? " Up 
rises a private member, and reads a list of names, modestly 
concluding with the not least important " and Myself." 
When the list has been gone through in monotonous fashion, 
the members in charge of Bills crowd the Bar, are called up 
one by one by the Speaker, and hand to the clerk at the 
table what purports to be their Bill. The proceeding is 
fraudulent, as well as foolish. The document is no Bill at 
all, merely a sheet of foolscap folded over and endorsed with 
a title. 

This Session seventy-one Bills were brought in. Seventy- 
one times the Speaker asked, " Who is prepared to bring in 
this Bill ? " Seventy-one lists of members were recited by 
as many members, concluding, with varying inflexions of 
modesty, " and Myself." Seventy-one members crowded at 
the Bar. Seventy-one names were called out by the Speaker. 
Seventy-one members marched up to the table blushing 
with consciousness of the sham document carried in their 
hands. Seventy-one times the clerk at the table to whom 
the fraud was furtively handed read its title. Seventy-one 
times the Speaker inquired, " What day for the second 
reading?" Three score and eleven fixtures were made. 

It is not worth the trouble of looking up how many 
were kept. If when next month the prorogation takes place 
it appear that the odd eleven Bills have been added to the 
Statute Book, private members may boast a record Session. 

The death of Sir John Mowbray removes from the House 
of Commons almost the last, certainly the best known, of an 
old type. In the present assembly its honoured sir John 
Father was the only relic of the Parliament elected Mowbray, 
in 1852. He was first returned for Durham in 1853, ^"<^ 
sat continuously through eleven Parliaments. For forty 



294 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 



years he bore the honoured rank of Privy Councillor. He 
held modest office under three Administrations. Lord 
Derby called him to the Treasury Bench first in 1858, 
renewing the invitation in 1866. When, in 1868, Mr. 
Disraeli was Premier he promptly availed himself of the 
opportunity of associating with his Ministry so fine a type 
of the English gentleman. For nearly a quarter of a century 
Sir John acted as chairman of the Committee on Standing 
Orders and of the Committee of Selection. 

He lived in and for the House of Commons, serene in 
the surety that he had not a single enemy. A party man 
in the sense that he always spoke and voted with the Con- 
servatives, he looked with generous eye on the political 

vagaries of others. At a time when, 
owing to their violence in the House 
of Commons and suspicion of com- 
plicity in crime in Ireland, Irish 
members of the House of Commons 
were regarded as pariahs. Sir John 
Mowbray preserved personal relations 
with such among them as he had 
known in quieter times. He was not 
a persistent contributor to debate. 
When he rose he was listened to with 
the respect his high character and far- 
reaching associations with public men 
and historic epochs commanded. 

He had seen much and, happily, 
had preserved clear impressions. Only 
last year he gave me a vivid account 
of the Coronation of William IV. 
He was at the time a Westminster 
boy, and availed himself of the ancient 
" BORN JUST BEFORE WATER- privilege of thc school to take his 

LOO"-THE LATE SIR JOHN i ■ ^^ Abbcy, iuSt aboVC thc 

MOWBRAY. ^ J > J 

benches allotted to peers on the 
occasion of the coronation. He saw Queen Victoria riding 
in State to be crowned in the Abbey. He was at this time 




1899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 295 

at Oxford. When the Queen married, the undergraduates 
drew up a loyal address. Young Mowbray had the good 
luck to be included in the deputation that proceeded to 
London to present it. He told me he did not remember 
very much about the Queen, his attention being concentrated 
on the figure of the Duke of Wellington standing in close 
attention on his youthful Sovereign. 

" You know," he said, " I was born just before the Battle 
of Waterloo, and felt I had a sort of connection with the 
Duke." 

Having long passed the age of fourscore the end could 
not be far off. It was undoubtedly hastened by his insistence 
upon attending to his Parliamentary duties. A 

f t. ^ . . "Very cold." 

rumour was current that he meant to retire from 
Parliamentary life. He would show every one that there 
was no foundation for such gossip. So he came up one 
bleak spring afternoon, took his familiar seat above the 
gangway, chatted with friends in the lobby, and went off to 
have a cup of tea. A very old friend who sat at the table 
with him told me he after a while withdrew in alarm. The 
old man was in such a state of nervous excitement, talked 
so rapidly, coughed so ominously, he thought he would be 
better left to himself A very short time after Sir John 
sank back shivering in his chair. 

" I am very cold," he said to another friend, a famous 
doctor, who approached him with shy endeavour not to look 
professional. 

It seemed he would die in the House in which he had 
lived so long. But they managed to get him to his own 
home, where soon the cold of which he had complained 
deepened into the chillness of death. Sir John Mowbray 
was not a great statesman, nor will his name shine forth 
from Parliamentary annals as that of an orator or as a 
debater. But he was of the kind of men who form the back- 
bone of the House of Commons, who have built up and who, 
whilst they are with us, maintain its unique reputation. 

The lot of the gentleman who has charge of the ventila- 



296 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

tion apparatus in the House of Commons is, like the poHce- 
The House of man's, not a happy one. The machinery at his 
Commons' Air. disposal is the most elaborate, and — having had 
longer continuous experience than the majority of members 
— I venture to say, is the most successful in the world. 
There is nothing about which two or three people gathered 
together more sharply differ than on the point of temperature. 
What is one man's freezing point is another man's approach 
to suffocation. In cold weather there are always elderly 
members sending imperative injunctions to have the tempera- 
ture raised, followed in a quarter of an hour by angry protests 
from younger men that they can scarcely breathe in so 
heated an atmosphere. In summer time a window, whether 
open or shut, is equally a casus belli. The best thing the 
engineer can do is to go his own way, unmindful of private 
protests on one side or the other. 

If any member wants to realise how great is the blessing 
of the ventilation machinery of the House of Commons, he 
should go over to *' another place " on one of the rare 
occasions when it is crowded in view of debate on topics 
relating either to rent or religion. The elaborate contrivance 
that supplies the House of Commons with fresh air does not 
extend to the House of Lords. That gilded chamber is 
dependent, like ordinary halls, upon the manipulation of the 
windows. After a few hours' occupation by anything 
approaching a crowd, the atmosphere becomes distinctly 
stuffy. No matter how long or how late or how crowded 
the House of Commons may sit, the atmosphere suffers 
scarcely perceptible change. Ever fresh draughts of air, 
drawn in from the surface of the salubrious Thames, 
purified by passage through thick layers of cotton -wool, 
iced in summer, warmed in winter, are driven up through 
the open ironwork of the floor, circulated through 
the chamber, steadily passing out by apertures in the 
roof 

In the good old days of all-night sittings I have left 
for a hasty bath and breakfast, and coming back in the 
brightness of early morning have found the atmosphere 



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297 



of the otherwise worn-out House as fresh as it was when the 
long sitting opened. 

Lord Peel tells me a curious circumstance garnered from 
his experience when Speaker. It was found p^^ ^^^^ 
that whenever discussion became heated the Annual 
thermometer which guides the engineer in his 
adjustment of the temperature invariably went up, falling as 
soon as order was restored. 

At the end of each Session returns are ordered, showing 
among miscellaneous matters how many days the House has 




A HASTY BATH. " 



sat, the duration of sittings, the aggregate of divisions, the 
number of times the closure has been moved, and the 
proportion of acceptance by the Speaker or the Chairman 
of Ways and Means. Here is suggestion of a new and 
significant inquiry. A table marking the maximum tempera- 
ture of the House from day to day, with foot-notes showing 
the subjects under discussion, would be most useful to the 
student and historian of Parliamentary manners. 

It would be interesting to know (i) what was the 



298 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

temperature in the House on the 27th of July 1893, five 
minutes before the cry of " Judas ! " smote the ear of Mr. 
Chamberlain as he stood at the table, genially comparing 
Mr. Gladstone to King Herod at the moment preceding the 
awful fate following on a reign of unrelieved wickedness ; 
(2) the temperature marked ten minutes later when Mr. 
Hayes Fisher seized Mr. Logan by the back of the neck and 
thrust him forth from the Front Opposition Bench. 

Early in the Session a private measure, The General 

Power Distributing Company Bill, was disposed of by the 

euphuism of a resolution declaring that it be 

Resurgam. . , . , . 

" read a second time upon this day six months. 
That is the delicate manner in which the House of Commons, 
dissembling its love, kicks Bills downstairs. The idea is 
that on the appointed date the House will be in recess. 
The Bill confidently coming up to be read a second time 
finds the lights are fled, the garlands dead, and all but he 
departed. 

As the Session advances nearer to its close accident is 
averted by reducing the interval, obnoxious Bills being 
appointed to be read a second time " on this day three 
months." 

Before the introduction of the saving ordinance whereby 
Supply automatically closes so that the prorogation inevit- 
ably takes place in the first fortnight of August, there 
was always opening for accident. In this particular case 
it was on the 3rd of March the House resolved to read the 
Bill a second time. That would bring it up again on the 
3rd of September. In the storm and stress of Mr. Glad- 
stone's prime it was by no means impossible to find the 
Session prolonged into the first week in September. 

There is a case wherein the unexpected happened. 
Among his active legislative habits the late Lord Denman 
Lord Denman's took charge of a Woman's Suffrage Bill. At 
little Surprise, the beginning of every Session he brought it in, 
and noble lords, not to be outdone in the matter of regularity, 
every Session threw it out. One year it happened that the 



1899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 299 

accustomed fate befell his pet measure in the third week 
of February. In the fewest possible minutes the House 
resolved that the Bill should " be read a second time on this 
day six months." Lord Denman, like a well-known rabbit, 
lay low and said nuffin. The Session proved a busy one. 
Both Houses were sitting in the third week of August. 
One night Lord Denman rose, and blandly reminding their 
lordships of the date, claimed the privilege of having his Bill 
read a second time as ordered. 

As a rule the House of Lords had Lord Denman at 
their feet, hustling about the poor pathetic figure as if it 




"LAY LOW AND SAID NUFFIN. — THE LATE LORD DENMAN. 

were a football. Now he had the House of Lords between 
finger and thumb. By some hocus-pocus of distinction 
between calendar months and lunar months the House 
wriggled out of the difficulty. Lord Denman carried his 
grey hairs in sorrow down to the grave with the pained 
certainty that he had been cheated out of the reward of a 
rare opportunity. 

Mr. Balfour does not often say spiteful things. Reticence 
does not arise from incapacity. At dinner the other night 
conversation turned upon a nominal supporter of 

A Back View. 

the Government whose general bearing does not 

endear him to mankind. A tender-hearted colleague was 

trying to make the best of a bad job. 

" He means well," he said, " but is perhaps a little soured 



300 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

by disappointment. He may, you know, think he is acting 
for the best. Anyhow, let us take the most favourable view 
of him possible under all circumstances." 

" Very well," said Prince Arthur, with unwonted grimness. 
" Let us see his back." 



CHAPTER XXIV 



AUGUST 



Seven years ago this month Mr. Gladstone formed his 
fourth and last Administration. Looking down the catalogue, 
it is startling to find how few then mustered are "We come as 
in the line of battle to-day. Mr. Gladstone is shadows." 
dead, so are his Lord Chancellor, Lord Herschell ; his 
President of the Board of Trade, Mr. Mundella ; his Second 
Whip, Mr. Ellis; and 
his Master of Horse, 
Lord Oxenbridge. Of 
the rest, his Secretary 
of State for Foreign 
Affairs, Lord Rosebery, 
has retired from official 
connection with the 
Party. So have his 
Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, Sir William 
Harcourt, and his Chief 
Secretary for Ireland, 
Mr. Morley. His Sec- 
retary for Scotland, Sir 
George Trevelyan, has 

gone back to his first love, Literature. His Vice-President 
of the Council, Mr. Acland, has retired owing to ill-health. 
His Postmaster-General, Mr. Arnold Morley, has long been 

301 




IN THE CORNER." 



102 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 



out of Parliament ; whilst his First Commissioner of Works, 
Mr. Shaw-Lefevre ; his Financial Secretary to the Treasury, 
Mr. Hibbert ; his Parliamentary Secretary for India, Mr. 
George Russell; his Vice - Chamberlain, Mr. "Bobbie" 
Spencer ; and his Controller of the Household, Mr. 
Leveson-Gower, are shelved owing to lack of appreciation 
on the part of the constituencies. 

His President of the Board of Agriculture, Mr. Herbert 
Gardner, is sunk in the obscurity of the House of Lords, 
where he has been joined by the Chief Whip of the Parlia- 
ment of 1892, Mr. Marjoribanks. His Under-Secretary 
for War, Lord Sandhurst, is Governor of Bombay. His 
Attorney-General, Sir Charles Russell, is Lord Chief Justice 
of England. His Solicitor-General, Mr. Rigby, is also 
wrapped in the dignity of the ermine. His Lord Chancellor 
of Ireland, Mr. Walker, is Lord Justice of Appeal. All this 
in seven short years. 



The game which used to be played round the seat of 
Mr. Gibson Bowles had its serious effect in drawing from 

the Speaker judg- cap-en Tommy 

ment on a nice Bowles's 

^, "Pitch." 

question. ihe 

member for Kings Lynn, with 
characteristic discernment, 
early in his Parliamentary 
career secured the corner seat 
on the bench immediately 
behind that on which Ministers 
sit. It has many advantages, 
being central, easy of access, 
and conveniently contiguous 
to Her Majesty's Ministers, 
who are able to benefit by 

prompt communication of any counsels that may occur to 

Mr. Bowles at crises of debate. 

The coign of vantage was, to begin with, secured in the 

ordinary fashion by early arrival and attendance at prayers. 




MR. TOMMY BOWLES — HIS CORNER SEAT. 



1 899 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



303 




MR. GEDGE IN POSSESSION. 



After a while Mr. Bowles grew slack in these observances. 
In other cases where eminent men have appropriated 
particular seats it is the 
custom to regard them 
as sacred. Mr. Courtney, 
for example, has a corner 
seat below the gangway, 
and if by chance he were 
absent from prayers, and 
so lose his legal claim to 
the place, he would doubt- 
less on arriving find it 
reserved for him. It is 
one of the penalties of 
greatness that it excites 
jealousy. Envious eyes 
were cast upon Mr. 
Bowles's seat. One day, 

arriving at question time, he was pained and shocked to find 
Mr. Gedge installed in his place, holding it by the invulner- 
able right of a ticket with his name on it stuck in the 
receptacle at the back. 

Mr. Gedge, when he is not looking after the bishops, or 
keeping the Prime Minister straight on constitutional points, 
is the guardian of ancient customs pertaining to j^,. Qedge's 
the appropriation of seats on the floor of the strategy. 
House. His detection of the manoeuvre whereby the corner 
seat and the one next to it on the Front Bench below the 
gangway on the Opposition side were invariably secured by 
Mr. Labouchere and Sir Charles Dilke is a matter of history. 

Mr. Gedge's incursion on Mr. Bowles's territory led to a 
succession of scenes, watched with boyish delight by the 
House. On the day after the first incursion, Mr. _. _. 

•^ _ ' The Siege 

Bowles came down in good time for prayers, 
resolved that nothing in the way of regularity 
should be lacking. Marching up to his place to deposit his 
hat, a preliminary process to obtaining the ticket that com- 
pletes a claim, he found a hat already in possession. 



of the 
Corner Seat. 



304 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 




TOUJOURS GEDGE. 



Robinson Crusoe conning on a man's footstep in what he had 
regarded as a desert island was not more startled. From a 

certain indefinable air of trucu- 
lence combined with implac- 
able respectability, he recog- 
nised the headgear as Mr. 
Gedge's. 

Mr. Bowles is not easily 
beaten. The next day he went 
down before luncheon, marked 
the seat as his own by placing 
his hat on it, and enjoyed 
full possession throughout the 
evening sitting. Then followed 
a series of marching and 
counter-marching, accompanied 
by varied results. The mem- 
ber for Walsall had the advan- 
tage of living close by, and 
being an early riser, Mr. Bowles, 
reaching the House as early as six o'clock in the morning, 
elate with the certainty of triumph, was confronted with the 
silent sardonic regard of Mr. Gedge's hat. 

It was at this stage of the campaign the Speaker's atten- 
tion was called to the matter. He was asked to give a 
ruling on the point whether it is lawful for a member, having 
pegged out a claim to a particular seat by depositing his 
hat, straightway to depart about his business in the City or 
at the West-end, a strategy made possible by the possession 
of a second hat. The Speaker, having taken thought and 
consulted the authorities, gave judgment in the negative. A 
member, he said, having claimed a seat in the usual manner, 
must remain within the precincts of the House till his right 
be fully established by possession of the ticket. 

Twenty-one years ago the competition for seats led to a 
striking scene. Mr. Dillwyn, long time member for Swansea, 
was the regular occupant of the corner seat below the gang- 
way, now filled by Mr. Labouchere. He held it undisturbed 



i899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 305 

till Mr. Roebuck was returned for Sheffield at a by- 
election. The old gentleman, presuming on his j^^. Duiwyn's 
years and fame, coming down to the House at seat, 
whatever hour suited his convenience, dislodged Mr. Dillwyn. 
This genial custom was suffered for some time. But the 
worm will turn at last, and one day Mr. Dillwyn did. The 
situation is described in the following letter here published for 
the first time. I take it from a copy in the neat hand-writing 
of Mr. Dillwyn which he gave me at the time. It bears date 
House of Commons, 23rd May 1878, and commences : — 

My dear Mr. Roebuck — Some time ago I mentioned to 
you that, although I wished to accommodate you by giving up to you 
the seat which I usually occupy in the House when you come here, 
I would ask you to let me know when you intended to come, as 
otherwise I am left without a place, and as I take rather an active 
part in the business of the House, this often occasions me consider- 
able inconvenience. I understood you to assent to the reasonable- 
ness of this request, and upon one occasion you did so inform me. 
Of late, however, you have not done so, and, consequently, I have 
several times during recent debates been without a place, although I 
had secured my usual one, as I did not like to prevent you from 
occupying it. Under these circumstances I hope you will excuse 
me if I consider the arrangement at an end, and that I shall decline 
to give you up my usual seat should I have secured it. I may say 
that several members who sit on the Opposition side of the House 
do not like to hear speeches directed against the Opposition, and 
in praise of the Government, such as you almost invariably make, 
emanating from their own side of the House, and they are surprised 
that you should like to make them from that side, and that I should 
make way for you on it. Very many representations to this effect 
have been made to me since your speech this evening, and I cannot 
say that I am surprised at it. Wishing to act with courtesy with 
you, I think it right to inform you before you come next to the 
House that I shall in future decline to vacate for you any place 
which I may have secured. — Believe me, Yours truly, 

L. L. Dillwyn. 

Before a week had sped after the despatch of this letter 
crisis came. During question time, when the House was 
densely crowded, Mr. Roebuck entered dragging his leaden 
footsteps in the direction of the corner seat. His habit was 

X 



;o6 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1899 



to stand there till Mr. Dillwyn either rose and left or moved 
lower down the bench. Now, as he stood and waited, Mr. 
Dillwyn steadily stared at the Treasury Bench, ignoring his 
presence. Not a word passed. The House paused, watch- 
ing the scene. Finding the member for Swansea immovable, 
Mr. Roebuck crossed over to the Conservative side, half-a- 
dozen members, amid wild cheering, springing up to give 
him a seat within the Government fold. 



Sir William Hart-Dyke is at least free from the charge 
of intentional humour. He trotted his bull out caparisoned 

in almost 

An odd Fish. 

funereal trap- 
pings. Debate sprang 
up upon a motion, made 
by Mr. James Lowther, 
charging the Lord Chan- 
cellor with breach of 
privilege, inasmuch as 
he had presided at a 
meeting summoned to 
select a Unionist candi- 
date to represent Oxford 
University in place of the 
ever- lamented Sir John 
Mowbray. Sir William 
argued that such conduct 
on the part of a peer 
became actionable only 
if the interference took 
place after a writ had 
been issued. At the 
same time he was willing to concede to Mr. Lowther that 
he had for his purposes been fortunate in finding an offender 
in a person so highly placed as the Lord Chancellor. 

" I admit," he said, " that the right honourable gentleman 
has undoubtedly gone up to the top of the tree and caught 
a very big fish." 




MR. HART-DYKES BULL: "CATCHING A BIG 
FISH OX THE TOP OF A TREE." 



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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



;o7 



A striking success on somewhat different lines was 
obtained this Session by Mr. Kilbride. It was during the 
discussion on the second reading of the Food ^ ^^^ Dinner 
and Drugs Bill. Question arose as to how far Dish, 
the use of margarine might be safely encouraged, Mr. 
Kilbride startled the House, and after a moment's considera- 
tion sent it into a fit of uncontrollable laughter, by announcing 
that margarine is " chiefly used for cooking porpoises." 

That is how the humble familiar word " purposes" sounds 
when enunciated in fine rotund Galway accent. 



A friend old enough to have been in the House of 
Commons when Lord Palmerston was Prime Minister recalls 
a scene in which there was delivered a speech j^e Retort 
at once the shortest and, as far as my memory conclusive, 
goes, the bitterest ever uttered. It was in the Session of 
1862, and, as happened in those days, Lord Palmerston, 
seated on the Treasury Bench, had fallen fast asleep. A 
member speaking from a bench immediately behind Ministers 
delivered a violent diatribe against the foreign policy of the 
Government. He was, as nearly as the undeveloped resources 
of the century permitted, some- 
thing approaching the Ashmead- 
Bartlett type. It happened that, 
contrary to his custom, he had 
said something that needed 
answering. A colleague rousing 
the Premier hastily whispered in 
his ear. 

Palmerston, with the instincts 
of an old war-horse, instantly 
rose to join in the fray. In his 
half-dazed state he had evidently 
misunderstood the source of the 
attack. " In reply to the right 
honourable gentleman opposite," 
he said, concluding assault had come from the usual 
quarter. 




"OH, IT WAS ONLY YOU, WAS IT?" 



3o8 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

His colleague hastily whispered correction, but was again 
misunderstood, 

" The hon. member below the gangway," said Palmerston, 
turning in that direction, " has thought fit to attribute to 
Her Majesty's Ministers " 

Once more his coat-tails were pulled, and with audible 
inquiry, " Eh ? What ? What ? " This time he mastered the 
name of the assailant of his policy. He turned round, 
looked his hon. friend full in the face, " Oh, it was only you, 
was it ? " he said, and resumed his seat. 

Does any one read Kinglake's EotJien now? Looking 

over it I find a remarkable forecast of the present state of 

things in Egypt. In the shortest chapter of the 

A Prophecy. . ° ^/ Y . , . , 

book, contammg an eloquent apostrophe of the 
Sphinx, Kinglake writes : " And we, we shall die, and Islam 
will wither away ; and the Englishman, leaning far over to 
hold his loved India, will plant a firm foot on the banks of 
the Nile, and sit in the seats of the Faithful, and still that 
sleepless rock will be watching, and watching, the works of 
the new, busy race with those same sad, earnest eyes, and 
the same tranquil mien everlastingly." 

Eothen was published in 1 844, at which time 
Mehemet Pasha had, of his strength, forced the Sultan to 
concede to him the position of hereditary Viceroy. England 
had not at the time the slightest foothold in the country, 
nor was there anything visibly working in that direction. 
But Kinglake had a clear vision of the far-off future, and 
fitly framed it in this glowing passage. 

I read in the newspapers how, preaching in the Abbey 
on a Sunday afternoon, " Canon Gore told a striking story, 
An old story which he Said had come to his ears within the 
re=toid. last fcw days. A hardened professional pick- 
pocket found himself within sight of death, and for the first 
time in his life had leisure to think. During a somewhat 
protracted illness the reality of the love of God was vividly 
borne in upon him, and he became, in the deepest sense. 



i899 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 309 

converted from darkness to light. He had received the 
Sacrament, and was hi articulo mortis, when the priest, who 
was reading the commendatory prayer by his bedside, heard 
a hoarse whisper in his ear, ' Look out for your watch.' As 
the clergyman raised his head, the man lay dead with the 
watch in his hand. The will, said Canon Gore, was not 
strone enough to resist the habitual instinctive motions of 
the body, yet was strong enough to protest against its own 
act with the voice." 

I know that story. It comes " From Behind the 
Speaker's Chair," and has journeyed many times round the 
world since; "within the last few days" it struck the 
Canon's ear. I am stricken by paternal regret on observing 
how sadly its points have been rubbed off in the journey. 
" The priest " was the late Mr. Henry White, and it was 
during his chaplaincy of the House of Commons that the 
grim incident occurred. Late one winter night a messenger 
came to his door and besought his attendance at the bedside 
of a sick man. He obeyed the summons, and was led to a 
house in a squalid neighbourhood by Waterloo Bridge. 
Entering a room lit by a tallow candle, he found a man 
of wasted frame and haggard features lying on a truckle- 
bed. 

Curious to know why he, living some distance off, should 
be sent for, he questioned the sick man, who told him that he 
once dropped in at St. Margaret's Church, where Mr. White 
was preaching. The subject chanced to be the repentance 
and salvation of the thief on the Cross. The dying man 
admitted that he had been a thief from his boyhood, had 
spent a considerable portion of his still young life in prison. 
But he was so much touched by the sermon that he had 
abjured his evil courses, had striven to lead an honest life, 
had mostly starved, and, feeling he was dying, there came 
upon him a strong desire to hear again the voice that once 
so strangely uplifted him. 

Mr. White, much affected, prayed by the bedside, 
then sat and talked with the man. As he grew weaker 
he leaned over and whispered consoling words. Rising 



3IO LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1899 

as he heard the death-rattle, he found himself grasped by 
the watch-chain, his watch in the closed hand of the 
penitent thief. 

The ruling passion, literally, strong in death, propinquity 
had been irresistible. 



SESSION 1900 
CHAPTER XXV 

JANUARY 

" The Angel of Death hovers over the House of Commons. 
You can almost hear the rustling of its wings." Of course, 
there is no statutory reason why the present -p^e disso1u= 
Parliament should be dissolved this year. As *'""• 
far as precedent goes, it might, without reproach, continue its 
existence through next Session, the General Election taking 
place at some convenient time after harvest. The Parlia- 
ment which, for the first time, saw Disraeli in power as well 
as in office, meeting on the 21st of February 1874, ^^^ 
through six years and sixty- seven days. Only twice in 
Victoria's long reign has that record been beaten. In both 
cases it was — rare coincidence — exceeded by the same 
number of days. The Parliament the Queen found at work 
when she came to the Throne placed Lord Melbourne in 
power in the year 1835. It sat for six years and 141 days, 
an accomplishment precisely paralleled by the last Parliament 
over which Lord Palmerston presided. 

The Parliament of 1880-85 did not survive for quite 
six years. The Unionist Parliament of 1886 exceeded that 
term by fifteen days. On the ist of July next year the full 
term of six years ' office will have been enjoyed by the 
present Ministry. If a General Election does not take place 
till September or October of next year, Lord Salisbury and 



312 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1900 



his colleagues cannot be reproached for unduly lingering on 
the stage. But will they play the game so low? The shade 
of Lord Beaconsfield seems to forbid it. There is little doubt 
A Lesson from that had lie dissolved Parliament immediately 
the Past, after his return from Berlin arm-in-arm with 
Lord Salisbury, bringing Peace with Honour, he would have 
obtained a triumphantly renewed lease of power. He 
hesitated, and was lost. Lulled into false security by the 
blustering popularity of the hour, the Beaconsfield Ministry 
held on, to face the fearful rout that befell them in the 
spring of 1880. 

Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, receiving at the Reform 

Club meeting a unanimous call to the Leadership, in 

The Case successiou to Sir William Harcourt, timidly 

ofc.=B. expressed a hope that, at least upon points of 

procedure not involving great issues, the party would submit 




THE ONLY SAFE PLACE (FROM THE MINISTERIAL POINT OF VIEW). 



to their leader's judgment. Of course it was not con- 
templated that on issues affecting great principles a man's 
conscience should be suborned in the interests of party 
solidarity. Sir Henry is not Naaman that he should plead 
for indulgence if from motives of policy he were constrained 
to bow himself in the House of Rimmon. He simply 
meant that for the sake of the party itself he should not be 
habitually subjected, as Sir William Harcourt was, and as 
was not unknown in the experience of Mr. Gladstone, to 
having his advice on immaterial matters flouted and his 



igoo 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



313 



authority lowered in the eyes of the House and the 
world. 

How this appeal prospered the records of the first Session 
of last year testify. To quote three instances that recur to 
the mind: On the 1st of May, the Old Age Pension Com- 
mittee having been selected in the ordinary manner by 
consultation and agreement between the Whips of the two 
parties, its nomination was moved from the Treasury Bench. 
Objection to its constitu- 
tion was taken by some 
members of the Opposi- 
tion Benches, and in two 
divisions the Leader 
found himself opposed in 
the division lobby by a 
section of his following. 
On the 19th of June 
Mr. Balfour made the 
customary motion appro- 
priating for the remainder 
of the Session Tuesdays 
and Wednesdays for 
Government business. Sir 
H. Campbell-Bannerman, 
speaking in his official 
capacity, unreservedly ad- 
mitted the reasonableness 
of the demand. It being 
opposed from below the 

gangway to the point of a division, the Leader of the 
Opposition, amid ironical cheers from the delighted Minis- 
terialists, walked out of the House, a number of his nominal 
supporters going into the " No " lobby. On the 3rd of July 
conversation arose on a resolution affecting the settlement 
of the Niger territory. A Blue-book fully recording the 
history of the case was at the printers, and issue was 
promised in a few days. Mr. Balfour made the not 
unreasonable suggestion that it would be better to post- 




A DIFFICULT MOUNT. 



314 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMExNT 1900 

pone discussion till the Blue-book was circulated, when 
members would be in full possession of the facts. The 
Leader of the Opposition, a plain business man, having 
secured a pledge that the papers should be immediately 
forthcoming, assented. Whereupon his followers below the 
gangway moved to report progress, insisted upon taking 
a division, and drove their leader into the Government 
lobby. 

It will be seen from consideration of these modern 
instances that there was at stake no question of principle or 
How Long! couscience. The mutiny in face of the enemy 
Mow Long! ^^s due to pure cussedness. To some minds it 
will appear that the trifling nature of the quarrel adds to 
the seriousness of the situation. For petty, wilful insub- 
ordination no excuse can be found in the conduct of the 
Captain. Bubbling with good humour, always urbane. Sir 
Henry Campbell-Bannerman has upon meet occasion shown 
that these qualities are not incompatible with fighting force. 
In varying circumstances he has displayed a born genius for 
filling a thankless post. He has known when to speak 
and, more priceless gift, has known when to be silent. In 
accepting the arduous, thankless task of leading a Liberal 
minority in the House of Commons, he, animated by a 
sense of duty and loyalty, made infinite sacrifice of 
personal ease and comfort. It is a poor reward to find 
himself publicly flouted by a section of his nominal 
followers, however insignificant in numbers or inconsiderable 
in personal position. 

This is a watchword that still lives in political com- 
mentary, though it is not so frequently dragged in as it used 
"Take care ^^ ^6. I wondcr how many men of the present 
of Dowb." generation know its history ? I confess I did 
not till I learned it sitting at the feet of that vivacious 
chronicler, Sir Algernon West. 

Sir Algernon, at that time fresh home from a visit to 
the Crimea, remembers sitting under the gallery of the House 
of Commons when Sir de Lacy Evans expounded the riddle 



igoo 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



15 



to puzzled members. Upon the death of Lord Raglan, 

General Simpson, second in command, received from Lord 

Panmure, then War Minister, the following message : " You 

are appointed Commander-in-Chief in the Crimea, Take 

care of Dowb." Sir de Lacy Evans, who 

was with the General when the telegram 

arrived, gave a racy description of the 

scene. The staff called in to assist in 

solving the mystery were utterly at sea. 

Officers of the Engineers were summoned 

with unavailing inquiry as to what part of 

the trenches Dowb might be serving his 

country in. 

At length there flashed upon one of 
the staff recollection that Lord Panmure 
had at the seat of war a cousin named 
Dowbeggin. At this great crisis in the 
campaign, the Commander-in-Chief dead, a 
new man selected to succeed him, the 
cousinly heart of the Minister of War was 
touched by the opportunity of serving his 
kinsman. Over land and sea he cabled 
(at his country's expense) " Take care of 
Dowbeggin." The economical operator 
cut the name short after the fourth letter. Thus it came 
to pass that the nation was enriched with the canny 
aphorism, " Take care of Dowb." 

Lord Panmure must have been a peculiarly stupid man 
even for the governing class that came to the front at the 
epoch of the Crimean War. The late Lord Malmesbury 
had a delightful story about him, current on the authority of 
that charming lady, Mrs. Norton. When the pathetic 
remnant of veterans came home from the Crimea on the 
conclusion of peace the Queen reviewed them. After the 
ceremony, Mrs. Norton asked Lord Panmure : " Was the 
Queen touched ? " " Bless my soul, no ! " said the Secretary 
of State for War, horrified at suggestion of such indiscretion. 
" She had a brass railing before her, and no one could touch 




SIR ALGERNON WEST. 



3i6 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

her." " I mean," said Mrs. Norton, hurriedly, " was she 
moved ? " " Moved ! " cried Lord Panmure, beginning to 
think much gadding about had made Mrs. Norton mad. 
" She had no occasion to move." 

Here the conversation terminated. 



^ Voting Supply. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

FEBRUARY 

Mr. Arthur Balfour is, with lessening vehemence, accused 
of burking debate because he strictly limits to something 
over a score the number of nights allotted to 
discussion in Committee of Supply. Every one 
who pays close attention to the business of the House knows 
that since that rule was established, with its condition of giving 
one night a week to Committee from the beginning of the 
Session, Supply is more fully and intelligently discussed than 
at any earlier period within the memory of the oldest 
member. 

It is true that if at a specified date in August particular 
Votes have not been passed they are carried without debate 
by the automatic pressure of the closure. That is very sad. 
But exactly the same thing came to pass under the clumsier 
machinery of elder days. What happened then was pro- 
longation of the Session, a House kept by a few score of 
fagged members, a series of late sittings, and the Votes 
carried in their integrity after a prolonged squabble. 

One of the most laborious Sessions of modern times was 
that of I 88 I, when Mr. Gladstone, full of great schemes of 
legislative reform, was met by Irish obstruction, ^^ . _^^ 

° •' ' The Length 

then in its palmiest days. Looking back I find of Daily 
that the average length of the daily sittings in s'"'"^^' 
that Session was nine hours and five minutes. Of these, 
not less than 238 hours and 35 minutes were, in the course 

317 



3i8 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1900 



of the Session, spent after midnight. I have not at hand 
information about the average length of the daily sittings 
last Session. But I should be surprised if they fell far short 
of the terrible times of nineteen years ago, with the important 
difference that work was wound up before midnight. 

Previous to the Session of i 881, the House sat longest 
and latest in the quinquennial period, 1831 to 1836. That 
was the Reform epoch, when Sir Charles Wetherell, father 
and founder of Parliamentary obstruction as fifty years later 




" IRISH OBSTRUCTION ! " 



practised by Mr. Parnell and Mr. Biggar, was to the fore. 
The House sat daily on the average for eight hours and forty 
minutes. After the spurt round the Reform Bill, exhausted 
nature sought repose, and for the next quinquennial period 
the average of sittings ran down to six hours and thirty-two 
minutes. It jumped up again in Corn Law time to a daily 
average exceeding eight hours, a state of things not paralleled 
till, after the General Election of 1868, Mr. Gladstone came 
in with a run. From 1872 to 1876 the average daily 
sitting was extended to eight hours and four minutes. The 



I goo 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



319 



time went on increasing till, as we have seen, in 1881 the 
sittings through 154 
days, an exception- 
ally long Session, 
exceeded an average 
of nine hours. 

What is the best 
hour for the daily 

The hour of meeting 
Meeting, for busi- 
ness has always been 
a troubled question 
for the House of 
Commons. In 1833, 
the sitting hitherto 
commencing at four 
o'clock, a curious and 
long - forgotten ex- 
pedient was tried. 
It was ordered that 
the House should 

meet at noon, adjourn at three o'clock, resume its sittings at 
five, and sit the agenda out. It would seem that human 
ingenuity could not hit upon a more inconvenient hour. It 
is true the dinner-hour was much earlier then. But dinner 
would not be ready in ordinary households between three 
and five in the afternoon. The arrangement lasted only for 
two Sessions, the House in 1835 going back to the four 
o'clock arrangement. 

Disraeli did not enter the House till this experiment had 
been dead for two Sessions. It must have been familiar to 
him, and was probably the germ of the scheme of morning 
Sessions invented by him and established in 1867. Here 
the hours were more sanely selected, the House now, as 
then, meeting at two o'clock on Tuesdays and Fridays when 
morning sittings are appointed, the sitting being suspended 
between seven o'clock and nine. The Wednesday sitting does 
not date farther back than i 845. Up to that date the sittings 




FAGGED. 



320 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

on Wednesdays were fixed for the evening, like other days. 
In that year it was ordered that the House should, on 
Wednesdays, meet at noon, rising at six. 

The familiar story of the barrister who acquired a habit 
of fingering a particular button when he was pleading, and 
lost the thread of his discourse when the button 
^stonl^s' was secretly cut off, finds no parallel in the 
Oratorical Housc of Commons. But whilst in no case is 
Gestures, p^^j^^erism of the kind marked to exaggerated 
extent, some members have certain tricks of action more or 
less indispensable to successful speech. Mr. Gladstone's 
gestures, like his other resources, were infinite. At one 
time — it was during the fever heat of the turbulent Parlia- 
ment of 1880-85 — he fell into a habit of emphasising his 
points either by beating his clenched fist into the open 
palm of his left hand, or violently thumping the harm- 
less box with open right hand. This last trick was 
recurrence to an earlier manner, observation of which 
drew from Disraeli an expression of heartfelt thanksgiving 
that so substantial a piece of furniture as the table of the 
House of Commons separated him from the right hon. 
gentleman. 

The exercise occasionally became so violent that the 
very point he desired to force on the attention of his 
audience was lost in the clamour of collision. Mr. Gladstone 
was, of course, unconscious of this habit, as he was of another 
trick, manoeuvred by stretching his right arm to its full 
length, rigidly extending his fingers and lightly scratching 
the top of his head with his thumb-nail. 

The Premier's colleagues on the Treasury Bench were so 
perturbed by the fisticuffing, which frequently gave cause to 
the enemy to guffaw, that they proposed among themselves 
that one of them should delicately call his attention to the 
matter. The proposal was pleasing, but who was to bell the 
cat? After fruitless discussion of this question in the inner 
camp, the Dean of Windsor, an old personal friend of Mr. 
Gladstone's, was meanly approached and induced to undertake 



1900 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



321 



the task. I do not know how the mission fared. Its curative 
effects were certainly not permanent. 

Sir William Harcourt, while addressing the House of 
Commons, has a persuasive habit of lightly swinging his 
eye-glasses suspended from an outstretched 

r r T T 1 1 • . Some others. 

forefinger. He also, when occasion arises, 
thumps the box with mailed fist. When he fires a heavy 
shot into the opposite 
camp he revolves swiftly 
on his heel, looking to 
right and left of the 
benches behind him in 
jubilant response to the 
cheers that applaud his 
success. Mr. Arthur 
Balfour, whose always 
growing perfection of 
Parliamentary debate 
sloughs off tricks of 
manner, is still sometimes 
seen holding on to him- 
self with both hands by 
the lapels of his coat, 
apparently afraid that 
otherwise he might run 
away before his speech 
was ended. A similar 
fancy is suggested by 
Mr. Goschen's trick of 
feeling himself over, 
especially in the neigh- 
bourhood of the ribs. Finding he is all right (on the spot, 
so to speak), he proceeds to wash his hands with invisible 
soap in imperceptible water. 

Even more apologetic in manner when delivering an 
excellent speech is Mr. Lecky. If he had chanced to be 
born, like another Irish member long since departed, without 
arms or legs, he would be a much more effective debater. 

Y 




AUTOMATIC GESTURES. — I. SIK WILLIAM 
HARCOURT. 



322 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1900 



As it is there are arms and legs, even of exceptional length, 
and Mr. Lecky, whilst discoursing on high themes of politics, 
painfully conscious of their presence, mutely apologises for 
their intrusion. 

Lord George Hamilton explaining away Chitral cam- 
paigns, or other awkward things, with swift action and painful 
precision rearranges the pages of his MS. notes. Using both 
hands to move a sheet off the box on to the table, he 
straightway, with equally anxious care, returns it. Sheets of 
paper have an irresistible fascination for the Secretary of 
State for India. Seated on the Treasury Bench following 
the debate, he occupies himself hour after hour in folding 
notepaper into strips, refolding them lengthwise, and tearing 
them up in square inches. If his life, or even his office, 
depended on the mathematical accuracy of the square, he 
could not devote more time to its achievement. 

Sir John Gorst, leaning an elbow on the box, turns his 
head slowly to the left, then to the right, as if he were 

expecting the entrance 
upon the scene of the 
corporate body of that 
mystic entity the Com- 
mittee of Council. Lord 
Rosebery is a more marked 
offender than Sir John in 
the matter of the almost 
fatally ineffective habit of 
leaning an elbow on the 
table whilst addressing the 
House. In the Lords the 
effect is more disastrous, 
since neither Ministers nor 
ex - Ministers have any- 
thing corresponding to the 
historic boxes on the table 
of the House of Commons. Sir John Gorst, falling into 
this attitude, has not to stoop lower than the height of the 
box. Lord Rosebery, lounging at the table of the House 




AUTOMATIC GESTURES — II. SIK JOHN GORST. 




AUTOMATIC GESTURES — III. LORD SALISBURY. 



I900 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 325 

of Lords, is fain considerably to stoop, an attitude not 
attractive in itself or conducive to effective speaking. But 
then Lord Rosebery's speech, whether in the House of Lords 
or elsewhere, is so precious and so welcome it does not 
matter how he chooses to stand in the act of delivery. 

Lord Salisbury has no gestures when he gets up to 
speak, but he makes up for the deficiency before he rises. 
It is easy to know when he intends to take part in a current 
debate. If he does, his right leg, crossed over his left knee, 
will be observed jogging at a pace equivalent to ten miles an 
hour on a level track. The working of this curious piece of 
machinery seems indispensable to the framing of the 
exquisitely pungent, perfectly-phrased sentences presently to 
be spoken without the assistance of written notes. 

Of all the tricks attendant upon speech in Parliament, the 
late Mr. Whalley, long time member for Peterborough, 
practised the strangest and the most inexplicable. ^^ „ , 

ir i> r The Mystery 

Whenever he rose to speak, and he was fre- of 

quently on his legs when the Jesuits or the '^' ^ ^^' 
non-believers in the Tichborne Claimant were to the fore, he 
thrice tapped with the knuckles of his right hand the bench 
before him. What this might portend, whether it was in 
the nature of an incantation or invocation, I cannot say. I 
can only testify that, during the Parliament that met in i 874 
and was dissolved in 1880, Mr. Whalley sat on the second 
bench behind the Opposition Leader immediately under my 
box in the Press Gallery. I closely watched for the uncanny 
movement, and never once saw him rise without the 
preliminary of this weird signal. 

Sir Algernon West in his Recollections says : " When on 
the retirement of Mr. Denison from the Speakership of the 
House of Commons in 1872, Mr. Disraeli was "Don't happen 
told that Mr. Gladstone had selected Mr. Brand toknowium." 
as his successor, he said, " I daresay he is a very good man, 
but I don't happen ever to have seen him.' " 

A moment's reflection will show that unless Disraeli is 
assumed to have told a deliberate and purposeless falsehood, 
this rumour cannot be true. At the time of his election to 



326 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1900 



the Chair, Mr. Brand had held a seat in the House of 
Commons for twenty years. For nine, from 1859 to 1868, 
he was chief Whip of the Liberal Party. Concurrently Mr. 
Disraeli was in succession Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
Prime Minister, and Leader of the House, To suppose the 
Leader of the House of Commons " didn't happen ever to 
have seen " the Opposition Whip, one of whose duties is to 
march up to the Table with the other tellers on big party 
divisions, is too great a strain on credulity. 

It is, however, true that when the present Speaker's 
name came to the front, as the Government nominee for the 
Chair vacated by Mr. Peel, there were many 
memibers who would have been nonplussed if 
they had been called upon to pick him out. I remember. 



A dark Horse. 




"DO YOU KNOW HIM?" 
" NO ! DO YOU?" 



shortly after his election, Mr. Arthur Balfour telling me that, 
at dinner on the evening of the day authoritative notice was 
published of intention to nominate Mr. Gully for the Chair, 
Mr. Chamberlain asked him what sort of a man the candi- 
date was. Mr. Balfour was obliged to admit that as far as 
he knew he had never set eyes upon him, Mr. Chamberlain 
confessing to a similar state of ignorance. 

There is a well-known case of an Irish member in the 
1880 Parliament, observing the precaution of posting to his 



I900 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 327 

local paper the full text of a speech he intended to make on 
a particular night. He failed to catch the Speaker's eye. 
But his speech duly appeared, to the delight and pride of 
his constituents, richly lined with notes of " cheers," " much 
laughter," and " loud cheers." 

There is nothing new under the sun. A similar accident 
befell another and a greater Irishman. It was otherwise 
notable for the fact that it led to Thackeray's Thackeray's 
first appearance in print. It befell when he vvas """s* "Po«"e." 
a lad, some fifteen years old, staying with his stepfather, 
Major Smyth, who, turning his sword into a ploughshare, 
settled down as a gentleman farmer in Devonshire. Ottery 
St. Mary is the name of the district in the matter-of-fact 
Postal Guide. Later, in a work of even greater circula- 
tion, it became famous as Clavering St. Mary, " the little old 
town " in which Pendennis was born. 

It happened that Lalor Shell, the Irish orator, proposed 
to advocate the policy of emancipation at a mass meeting 
on Penenden Heath, in Kent. When he presented himself 
to deliver his discourse there burst forth an outcry that 
prevented a sentence being heard beyond the limits of the 
cart on which he stood. Happily he had observed the 
precaution before leaving town of sending to the morning 
papers a copy of his projected speech. Accordingly, though 
unspoken at Peneden, it appeared in the morning news- 
papers in verbatim form. 

Boy Thackeray thus described the incident : — 

He strove to speak, but the men of Kent 

Began a grievous shouting ; 
When out of the waggon the little man went 

And put a stop to his spouting. 

"What though these heretics heard me not," 

Quoth he to his friend Canonical, 
"My speech is safe in the Times, I wot. 

And eke in the Morning Chronicle" 

At best, Lalor Shell was not equipped by Nature for 
the difficult task of addressing a mass meeting out of doors. 



328 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

Mr. Gladstone, who heard many of his speeches, and had a 
A Note of profound admiration for his eloquence, described 
Heredity, his voice as " resembling the sound of a tin kettle 
beaten about from place to place." 

There is a curious note of heredity in the fact that his 
kinsman and successor in the House of Commons, Mr. 
Edward Shell, was equally weak in the matter of voice. 
Once he managed to deliver a long speech without sound of 
voice. 

He acted as Whip to the Party, a post for which he 
had the prime qualification of being popular on both sides 
of the House. As Whip, he was not expected to contribute 
to the campaign of speech-making carried on by his colleagues 
with a view to obstructing public business. As a rule he 
availed himself of his privilege, remaining a silent spectator 
of the fun. 

One night, after prolonged sitting, when the ordinary 
contributors to speech-making from the Irish side were worn 
out, Mr. Shell gallantly undertook to hold the field whilst 
his comrades had a brief rest. He rose from the third bench 
below the gangway on the Opposition side. The Speaker 
had called him ; he was in possession of the House, and 
members turned with languid interest to hear what he might 
have to say. 

A dead silence fell over the Chamber. Members looking 
more closely to see why Mr. Shell had not commenced his 
speech observed that his lips were moving. Also, from time 
to time, he with outstretched arm enforced by gesture a 
point he thought he had made. But not a whisper escaped 
his lips. After a while members beginning to enter into 
the fun of the thing cried, " Hear ! hear ! " Thus encouraged, 
Mr. Sheil's oratorical action became more forcible and 
frequent, but never a sound from his lips was heard. The 
scene went on for fully a quarter of an hour, amid rapturous 
cheering from the delighted House, Mr. Shell resuming his seat 
with the air of a man who felt he had spoken to the point. 

Among Lord Granville's papers (when are we to have 



I90O LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 329 

his Memoirs ? ) will be found a letter written to him by the 
late Lord Stanhope, dated from " Chevening . , , ,, 

^ °' A private Note 

October 1866." Lord Granville had recently on waimer 
come into the office, more prized than the 
Foreign Seal, of Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. The 
late Lord Stanhope was born almost within the precincts of 
Waimer Castle, Mr. Pitt, then Lord Warden, having on 
their marriage lent his father and mother the cottage which 
stands close to the entrance of the Castle grounds from the 
village side. As one familiar with Waimer Castle in the 
time of Pitt and the Duke of Wellington, Lord Granville 
asked Earl Stanhope to give him a few notes on the subject, 
a task cheerfully undertaken by the historian and genially 
accomplished. 

One of the distinctions of Waimer Castle is that on a 
treeless coast its grounds are umbrageous. It was Pitt who 
planted the trees, though he did not live long^ 

I . • 11.,, T.- . , r^ Pitt's Room. 

enough to sit under their shade. Pitt, with all 
the Castle wherein to choose, selected a curious room as 
his own. He might have had one facing either the sea or 
the south. His room to this day looks into the moat, and 
is faced by the dead wall that guards it. For more than 
thirty years the room was left exactly as it was when Pitt 
lay down in it for the last time. The Queen and Prince 
Consort spent a portion of their honeymoon at Waimer 
Castle. In anticipation of the event a new dining-room was 
contrived by knocking down the wall of Pitt's room and 
joining it to the next one. When the young couple left the 
wall was rebuilt, and to-day Pitt's room is — or was in Lord 
Dufferin's day when I was a guest at the Castle — the habitat 
of the housekeeper. 

Long before her time the room had quite another 
occupant. Lord Stanhope, in the letter quoted from, says : 
" Wellington told me that when he received a visit from 
Prince Talleyrand at Waimer Castle, Talleyrand asked 
particularly to occupy Mr. Pitt's room, and seemed to live 
there in some sense of triumph. His idea was that he had 
been treated rather slightingly by Mr. Pitt when he came 



330 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

over as secretary to M. Chacevelin in 1792, and that to 
sleep in his rival's bed was like taking a revanche!' 

That is, perhaps, rather a fanciful conclusion. In the 
circumstances Pitt's profounder sleep was not likely to be 




TALLEYRAND SLEEPING IN PITT'S BED. 

disturbed by reflection on the fact that Talleyrand was 
tucking himself up in his old bed at Walmer Castle. 

The room in which the Duke of Wellington slept and 

died has not since been occupied by any lesser mortal. 

^. ^ . . Thanks to the loyalty and liberality of Mr. W. 

The Duke of ^ ■> ■' 

Wellington's H. Smith, it has been reinstated in something 
'^"°'"* like the condition in which the Duke left it. In 
matter of proportions and outlook it is not much better than 
Pitt's. It is furnished with the stern simplicity of a camp. 

When Mr. W. H. Smith was nominated to the Lord 
Wardenship in succession to Pitt, Wellington, Palmerston, 
and Lord Granville, he found that the fixings of Walmer 
Castle, memorials of the daily life of the mighty dead, did 
not pertain to the Castle. They were " taken over " like 
ordinary fixtures, by successive tenants, upon payment of 
their valuation. 



I900 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 331 

Lord Palmerston, when he became Lord Warden, did 
not want the Duke of Wellington's boots or his bedstead. 
Nor was he disposed to fork out £$ for the quaint-looking 
chair in which Pitt often sat astride meditating on Napoleon's 
triumphal march through Europe. The priceless relics were 
accordingly distributed. 

Happily the present Duke of Wellington obtained all 
pertaining to his father, and liberally joined Mr. W. H. 
Smith in reinstating them. Things seem a little out of joint 
when we reflect that the dispersal of these historic relics took 
place under the regime of the blue-blooded aristocrat 
Viscount Palmerston, and that their restoration was pains- 
takingly accomplished by a tradesman from the Strand, W.C. 

In the smoking-room of the House of Commons there 
is a simple device whereby is spelled out the names of 
members as they successively address the House. "Name! 
Just as in travelling on the District Railway the Name!" 
name of the approaching station is displayed and stands in 
view till the point is passed, so whilst a member is on his 
legs in the House of Commons his name is shining over the 
fireplace of the smoking-room as if he were Bovril or Vinolia 
soap. 

This arrangement is so convenient that it might well be 
extended. It would be of especial use in the Central Lobby, 
where members drop out for a chat whilst Mr. Caldwell or 
Sir Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett is on his legs. That is all very 
well, but it may happen that either of these gentlemen is 
succeeded by a member whose speech one would not like to 
miss. The danger would be averted if at some convenient 
point in the Lobby the names of speakers were set forth as 
they are in the smoking-room. 

I have been much struck by an observation contributed 
by a well-known Irishman to a conversation 

, , • /- . r T • 1 A Definition. 

upon the qualifications necessary for an Irish 
member. 

" There are," said he, " three classes of people from 



332 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

whom the Irish member may be best recruited. Millionaires, 
who can afford it ; paupers, who have nothing to lose ; and 
fools of all descriptions." 

An Englishman must not say things of that kind. An 
Irishman may, and does. 



CHAPTER XXVII 



APRIL 



Presiding during the recess at a lecture delivered at Epsom 
on " The Parliaments of the Queen," Lord Rosebery offered 

Dulnessat SO me re- 

Westminster, marks which 

were widely discussed- 
The lecturer com- 
mented on the frequent 
assumption that, with 
the lowering of the 
franchise, the admis- 
sion of working men 
members, and the con- 
sequent leavening of 
the aristocratic mass, 
the standard of the 
House of Commons in 
the matter of conduct must needs be lowered. He advanced 
the opinion that the present House of Commons is the 
best mannered he, with more than a quarter of a century's 
experience, had known. " In that respect," he added, " it 
even runs the risk of being described as dull." 

Lord Rosebery, assenting to this view, advanced three 
reasons in explanation of the phenomenon. The first and 
most original was that the growing concern taken by the 
public in the work of County Councils has dulled the keen 
edge of interest formerly attached to Parliamentary proceedings. 

333 




PRESIDING AT A LECTURE. 



334 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

A second reason he found in the overpowering majority that 
exists in the present House of Commons. Thirdly, he noted 
the withdrawal from the scene of Mr. Disraeli, Mr. Gladstone, 
and, he might have added, of Mr. John Bright. 

The first reason, obviously suggested by Lord Rosebery's 
patriotic and beneficent personal share in the work of County 
and District Councils, will not appeal to others with equal 
force. It falls before a simple test. Do the public in any 
county or district crowd the auditorium of the council 
chamber as the Strangers' Galleries of the House of Commons 
are thronged even on the dullest night ? Do the newspapers, 
whose managers presumably know what the public want, 
report at any length, or report at all, the proceedings at 
meetings of the average County Council ? 

The answer is in the negative. County Councils, doubt- 
less, have created a special interest of their own within local 
areas. But these do not interfere with the wider range of 
profounder attention, not only in this country, but through 
continents peopled by the English-speaking race, which even 
the dull Parliament of the present epoch commands. 

Lord Rosebery goes nearer to the root of the matter 

when he cites the overpowering majority at the command of 

Ministers as a reason for prevailing dulness. A 

The Wet ^ r j r 

Blanket of the majority which after a slow course of defeats at 
Majority, by-clectious Still may be counted at 130, leaves 
no margin for either expectation or surprise. If it happened 
to be ranged under the Liberal instead of the Conservative 
flag the case would be different. Mr. Gladstone came into 
power in 1880 with a majority not much less overpowering 
than that which acclaimed Lord Salisbury in 1895. Ere 
the preliminary formality of swearing-in members had been 
completed the process of disintegration germinated in the 
Ministerial camp. Before the Session was far advanced 
Mr. Gladstone several times found himself in a minority, 
pathetically surrendering the Leadership of the House to 
Sir Stafford Northcote when motions relating to Mr. 
Bradlaugh were submitted. 

That was the result of instinct and training. Before and 



I900 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 335 

since, Mr. Gladstone sufifered melancholy experience of their 
joint influence. In the Conservative breast, instinct and 
training work in directly opposite directions. With a 
majority of 1 30 there is sore temptation for an able, 
ambitious man to achieve a reputation for honest independ- 
ence by occasionally going into the lobby against his leaders. 
Steps in that direction were, early in the history of the 
present Parliament, taken by Mr. Bartley, whose cup of 
bitterness at seeing Mr. Hanbury on the Treasury Bench, 
himself overlooked, was filled by the withholding of a card 
of invitation for a State concert — or was it a State ball ? 
Mr. Gedge is not sound on the question of the Lord 
Chancellor, More than once he has revolted against Mr. 
Arthur Balfour's connivance with that eminent person's 
alleged misdoing in the matter of judicial patronage. As 
for Mr. Tommy Bowles, he is one of the acutest and most 
unsparing critics of the Government whether in individual 
capacity, as vendors of private property at good prices to 
the State, or as a Cabinet dealing with public affairs at 
home and abroad. 

The revolt of the Pigtail party at the opening of the 
Session of 1898 seemed really threatening. If it had been 
Mr. Gladstone who had let Talienwan slip through his 
fingers into the grasp of Russia, and if Mr. Yerburgh had, 
with equal force and authority, voiced the sentiments of a 
section of the Liberal party, even a majority of 130 would 
not have saved the Premier from a damaging blow. As it 
was the storm blew over. Lord Salisbury went his own 
way, Russia got hers, and when the Opposition, perceiving 
an opportunity for doing a little business, took a division on 
a resolution challenging Lord Salisbury's policy in the Far 
East, lo ! Mr. Yerburgh and his merry men " were not " — at 
least, they were not in the Opposition Lobby. 

This condition of things, the knowledge that there is no 
hope in any circumstances of varying it, acts like a wet 
blanket on the smouldering fires of the House of Commons. 
It is, I think, the main reason for the state of things Lord 
Rosebery recognised at Westminster. 



33^ 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1900 



A powerful contributory is the great gap created by the 

disappearance from the lists of Mr. Disraeli and Mr. Gladstone. 

Grievous ^^- Bright Can scarcely be said to be known to 

Gaps- the present generation of the House of Commons. 
His mark upon its record was cut bold and deep before 
his retirement from office in 1870 on the breakdown of his 




Mr. Yeiburtjh. 



Mr. Macdona. 

THE PIGTAIL PARTY. 



Lord Charles Beresford. 



health. Nevertheless, even his silent presence on the Front 
Bench did much to ennoble the scene. 

It is impossible to overrate the declension of interest in 
the proceedings of the House of Commons consequent on 
the withdrawal first of Mr. Disraeli, then, long after, of Mr. 
Gladstone. It was not only because of their commanding 
position. They were always on view, as much a part and 
parcel of the proceedings as the Mace on the Table or the 
Speaker in the Chair. Both, brought up in an old Parlia- 
mentary school whose traditions are now disregarded, observed 
the injunction that a Leader of the House, whether in office 
or Opposition, should sit out a debate, however inima,terial 



1900 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 337 

its issue or inconsiderable the class of speakers carrying it 
on. The influence of this personal habit was widely marked. 
Colleagues on either Front Bench were ashamed to spend 
the evening in their room or on the Terrace when the chief 
was patiently keeping watch and ward. Above and below 
the gangway on either side the example had its influence. 
However dreary might be the current debate, there was 
Disraeli to watch, with his right leg crossed over his knee, 
his arms folded, his head bent, his eyes, bright to the last, 
closely watching the benches before him, especially that on 
which Mr. Gladstone sat. 

Since he went away there was Mr. Gladstone, a much 
more animated object. The essential difference between the 
two statesmen was nowhere more strongly marked than in 
their bearing in the House of Commons. For hours Disraeli 
sat motionless as the Sphinx. The only colleague he 
habitually conversed with on the Treasury Bench was a 
Junior Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Barrington, whose agree- 
able duties in this and another way recorded were rewarded 
by an English peerage. Mr. Gladstone, bubbling over with 
vitality, talked to whomsoever might chance to sit on his 
right hand or his left, often emphasising conversation with 
quick gesture of nervous hands. 

Whether silent or conversing, these two were the 
cynosure of all eyes. Their presence denoted possibility of 
their at any moment interposing and lifting drear debate to 
the level of their own stature. There are in the present 
Parliament no two men — there is not any one man — who 
possesses this personal fascination. It necessarily follows that, 
field nights apart, the House of Commons is from hour to hour 
through its nightly sittings less interesting than it was when 
both or one of these historic figures was still above the horizon. 

How many members of the House of Commons elected 
in the first year of the Oueen's reign survive ^ 

•' ^ _~ _ ° Survivors of 

to-day? Having occasion in the Diamond the Queen's 
Jubilee year to look the matter up, I found " *' *""*" " 
there were at that date six. 



338 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

Of the half-dozen one was Mr. Leader, who represented 
Westminster in the first Parh'ament of the Queen, and distin- 
guished himself by being one of the minority of twenty 
who supported that once well-known, now forgotten, states- 
man, Mr. Coroner Wakley, in an amendment to the 
Address. The Ministry, avowedly Liberal, had omitted 
from the Queen's Speech promise to undertake Parlia- 
mentary reform. The Coroner with professional energy 
forthwith proceeded to sit upon the Government. He found 
only eighteen members to follow the lead of himself and 
co-teller in what might be construed as a rudeness to the 
young Queen whose first Speech was nominally the subject 
of debate. 

Other of the six relics of this House of more than sixty 
years ago were Mr. Hurst, in 1837 member for Horsham; 
Mr. Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, member for Malton, now Earl 
Fitzwilliam ; Sir Thomas Acland, member for West Somerset, 
whose family name was up to a recent date honourably 
represented in the House of Commons by the ex-Vice- 
President of the Council ; Mr. Villiers, in i 897 as he was in 
1837 member for Wolverhampton; and Mr. Gladstone, at 
the Jubilee period in busy seclusion at Hawarden, in 1837 
member for Newark, having his days before him and the 
tumult of his life. 

Three of these veterans — Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Villiers, 
and Sir Thomas Acland — have since gone over to the 
majority, and I fancy I have seen record of the passing 
away of one other. 

At a time when the Government of the day lie under 

grave charges of mismanagement of a campaign, it is 

History interesting to come upon some criticism of Lord 

repeating Wolselcy dealing with an analogous state of 

things. Some years ago there was issued a 

book, written by Colonel Campbell, entitled Letters from 

Camp during the Siege of Sebastopol. Lord Wolseley 

wrote a preface in which, commenting on the sulTerings 

of the troops in the Crimea, he declared that they " had 

their origin in the folly, criminal ignorance, parsimony. 



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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



339 




and inaptitude of the gentlemen who were Her Majesty's 
Ministers." 

According to some authorities, it requires only to write 
the verb in the present tense in order 
to describe the earliest relations of 
Her Majesty's Ministers with the 
campaign in South Africa. 

In a passage that has even fuller 
possibility of significance, the principal 
military adviser of Lord Salisbury's 
Government, alluding to " the crass 
ignorance of the Cabinet," protests it 
was " equalled only by the baseness 
with which it afterwards endeavoured 
to shift the blame from its own 
shoulders upon those of Sir R. Airey 
and other military authorities." 

Lord Edward Pelham- Clinton, 
Master of the Queen's Household, history repeating itself. 

Threat of full bitterly resents this pas- '''■''" \Z^'J,r,ZV-l'''''-^'''' 
Disclosure, sage as a direct indict- 
ment of his father, the late Duke of Newcastle, whom 
history holds to be the Minister chiefly responsible for the 
conduct of the Crimean War. That is but a filial reflex 
of the frame of mind with which the Duke himself met 
charges and insinuations levelled against him. It is some- 
thing more than a tradition in the Pelham-Clinton family 
that the Duke of Newcastle was deliberately made the 
scapegoat of the Cabinet. Whilst the storm raged he wrote 
a letter to Hayward, in which the following ominous passage 
occurs : " I do not know whether justice will be done me, 
but if not, I shall publish everything and spare nobody." 

I believe the Duke's Memoirs, upon which the labour of 
years has been bestowed, are in a forward state. This threat 
on the part of the aggravated Duke promises that they will 
cast a new, perhaps an amazing, light on the inner history of 
Ministerial direction for the Crimean War and the responsi- 
bility for its criminal blunders. 



340 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

There is another memoir of a much greater statesman 
the world would welcome. I allude to the Life of Lord 
I ^r. ^ . u Randolph Churchill. That he contemplated its 

Lord Randolph ^ ^ 

Churchill's being undertaken appears on unquestioned 
emoirs. authority. He made his will in the summer of 
1883. No reference to the subject appears in the body of 
the document. Five years later, on the 22nd of September 
1888, he added a codicil whereby he bequeathed all his 
private papers, letters, and documents to his brother-in-law 
Viscount Curzon and his old friend Louis Jennings, M.P., 
" in trust to publish, retain all or any of them, as they in 
their absolute discretion may think proper." 

When the will was opened poor Louis Jennings, whose 
open rupture with his much-loved friend and leader was one 
of the most dramatic incidents ever witnessed in the House 
of Commons, lay in his grave. Had he survived his chief, 
there is little doubt the book would have been written. 
Lord Curzon's many gifts do not tend in the direction of 
literary effort. But there is obviously a substitute at hand. 
As a rule biographies written by sons or daughters are a 
failure. The nearness of the point of vision makes impossible 
the effect of perspective. Sir George Trevelyan's Lt/e of 
Lord Macaulay appears to suggest that the standpoint of 
a nephew is the nearest at which biographical faculty may 
be successfully undertaken. But Mr. Winston Churchill has 
on more than one occasion testified to possession of the gift 
of self-detachment which, as enabling one dispassionately to 
adjudge intimate friends or near relations, was a prominent 
endowment of his distinguished father. 

A skilful record of the career of Lord Randolph Churchill, 
a selection from his correspondence, and a study of his brilliant 
wayward personality, would make a peerless book. To pro- 
duce it is a duty the son owes to the memory of his father.^ 

Black Rod and the Serjeant-at-Arms in the House of 
Lords this Session tread the floor of the historic chamber 

' In 1902 announcement was made that Mr. Winston Churchill had undertaken 
the task. 



I900 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



341 




BLACK ROD. 



with secret consciousness that they have achieved a great 
victory over that enemy of Ministerial mankind. 

Domestic •' / 

Differences In the Treasury. Thirteen 
high Quarters. ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^ Parlia- 
ment was passed requiring that all 
Government officials should contribute 
10 per cent of their salary towards 
a superannuation fund. Up to a 
recent period the staff of both Houses 
of Parliament escaped this impost. 
The Treasury, beginning to feel the 
burden imposed upon them by the 
generosity of a Government who have 
devoted millions to the subvention 
of Church schools, the relief of the 
clergy, and the amelioration of the lot 
of rate-paying landlords, felt they must 
do something to raise the wind. A 
little more than a year ago a vacancy arose in the office of 
Serjeant-at-Arms in attendance on the Lord Chancellor at 
the House of Lords. Here was a chance of readjusting the 
balance. 

Scarcely was General Sir Arthur Ellis installed in his 
new office than he received intimation from the Treasury 
that his salary would be docked to the amount of 10 per 
cent. There happened to be sitting a Select Committee to 
consider the whole question of the officers of the House of 
Lords, whom jealous commoners had criticised as being in 
number far beyond the needs of the institution, and, therefore, 
entailing unnecessary expense. To this Committee General 
Ellis carried the Treasury communication. The Committee 
wrote to the Treasury promising to take the matter into 
consideration. That was in December 1898, and there, in 
accordance with precedence, it seemed probable the matter 
would rest. The Committee would go on indefinitely " con- 
sidering " the matter, and in the meanwhile the Serjeant-at- 
Arms would continue to draw his full salary. 

Therein the Committee counted too confidently on human 



342 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1900 



frailty, a weakness from which the Treasury is free. In 
June last My Lords woke up to recollection that no answer 
on the point had been forthcoming from the Select Com- 
mittee. A note was accordingly written, referring to the 
correspondence in December, and stating that " My Lords 
would be glad to be favoured with the views of the Committee 
on the question." The Clerk of Parliaments replied that the 
office of Serjeant-at-Arms is a Royal Household appoint- 
ment, and that no deduction is ever made from the salaries 
of such officers. By way of clincher it was added that 
Black Rod, also a Household appointment, had never had 
such claim made upon him. The Clerk of Parliaments was 
so delighted with this illustration of his case that he airily 
remarked : " It therefore seems hardly necessary to bring 
the matter before the House of Lords' Officers' Committee." 
As on an historic occasion Lord Randolph Churchill 

" forgot Goschen," so, in this 
delightful domestic ^ ^ . , 

° A Daniel 

comedy, the Clerk come to 
of Parliaments "for- " s^"^" • 
got Hanbury." Hitherto the 
correspondence on behalf of 
the Treasury was conducted 
by Lord Salisbury's friend, 
the Permanent Secretary, Sir 
Francis Mowatt. Now a 
greater than he stepped to 
the front. A burlier figure 
filled the breach. Mr. Han- 
bury himself took the business 
in hand, and dealt a blow 
which (of course, in a Parlia- 
mentary sense) doubled up 
the Clerk of Parliaments. The 
Serjeant-at-Arms, he pointed 
out, draws his salary from the 
House of Lords' Vote in the 
capacity of an officer serving in that House, not as a House- 




MR. HANBURY TAKES THE BUSINESS 
IN HAND. 



I goo 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



343 



hold officer paid from the Civil List. Argal, he must stump 
up a tithe of his salary. 

That was very well as meeting the argument about the 
Serjeant-at-Arms. It was the next move that revealed the 
dangerous proclivities of Mr. Hanbury, trained, in company 
with Mr. " Tommy " Bowles and Mr. Christopher Trout 
Bartley, in the close conflict of Committee of Supply. " You 
point out," he blandly added, " that no such abatement has 
ever been made in the case of successive holders of the office 
of Black Rod, which is equally a Household appointment. 
But here, too, the emoluments are drawn not from the Civil 
List, but from the House of Lords' Vote, and now that 
their attention has been drawn to the matter. My Lords can- 
not avoid the same conclusion as that reached with regard 
to the Serjeant-at-Arms." 

Here was a nice pickle ! Not only was the Treasury 
implacable in the mat- 
ter of 10 per cent 
on the salary of the 
Serjeant-at-Arms, but 
was now full cry in 
pursuit of similar 
plunder from Black 
Rod. What that 
august functionary said 
when he heard of the 
Clerk of Parliaments' 
ingenious argument on 

behalf of the Serjeant-at-Arms is happily withheld from 
public consideration. 

As for the Clerk of Parliaments, he meekly replied that 
he would lay both cases before the Select Committee, as 
requested by Mr. Hanbury. Fortunately for Black Rod 
and the Serjeant-at-Arms, the Select Committee, being a 
corporate body, did not suffer from the personal apprehension 
that naturally took possession of the individual when the Clerk 
of Parliaments was temporarily deprived of breath in the 
circumstance described. You cannot frame an indictment 




PURSUED BY THE TREASURY. 



344 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

against a whole nation, neither can a Financial Secretary to 
the Treasury, albeit 6 ft. 6 in. in height, grind the faces of a 
whole Select Committee. The Lords' Committee, accordingly, 
safely locked in their room, signed a sort of round-robin, 
oracularly declaring that " as the Treasury Rules derive their 
validity from the Superannuation Act, which does not apply 
to the staff of either House of Parliament, the alleged 
statutory obligation to make the proposed reduction does 
not really exist." 

Thus was a rapacious Treasury defeated, and thus it 
comes to pass that from this Session onward Black Rod and 
Serjeant-at-Arms will draw their full salary, none daring to 
make them afraid of a i o per cent reduction. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 



MAY 



" This sitting up merely to adjourn the House and to put 
out the lights is not only useless as a matter of business, 
but it really impedes business, knocks up the Hg^d Lines 
Speaker, and renders him inefficient for the*o''t''e Speaker. 
following day." Thus Speaker Denison, writing in his Diary, 
under date Friday, 25 th of March 
1870. The anguished words 
were wrung from him at the close 
of a hard week chiefly spent in 
the Chair. To ordinary business 
people it seems necessary only 
to state the case to have the 
absurdity corrected. 

When the House gets into 
Committee of Supply the Speaker 
leaves the Chair, the proceedings 
being thereafter presided over by 
the Chairman of Ways and 
Means, seated at the table. As 
a rule, on these occasions the 
Speaker is relieved between four 
and five o'clock, and, as the Com- 
mittee will peg away till the hour 
of adjournment, the right hon. gentleman might reasonably 
count upon a restful evening, getting early to bed. It is, 

345 




MR. J. W. LOWTHEK, THE CHAIR- 
MAN OF WAYS AND MEANS. 



346 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

however, an ancient custom that the formality of adjourning 
the House shall be performed by the Speaker in person. 
The consequence is that, when at midnight Committee of 
Supply closes, the Speaker is routed out of his house, com- 
pelled to put on wig and gown, return to the Chair, and, 
having recited the list of orders on the paper, observes, " The 
House will now adjourn." 

As a rule the performance does not take more than five 
minutes. But consider the inconvenience it imposes — im- 
prisonment at home throughout the evening and compulsory 
sitting up to midnight. 

That the Chairman of Ways and Means can accomplish 
the ceremony without weakening the foundations of the 
Empire is proved by the fact that on the occasional indis- 
position of the Speaker he is called upon to do so. On the 
very night this anguished cry was wrung from the soul of 
Mr. Speaker Denison he had settled with Mr. Dodson, then 
Chairman of Ways and Means, that he should take the 
Chair and adjourn the House. " He did so. No inconveni- 
ence arose to any one. But the relief to me was very great. 
I got to bed and to sleep about eleven o'clock and had a 
good night, which quite restored my powers." 

Since John Evelyn Denison finally left the Chair of the 
House of Commons the deeply rooted prejudice against 
reform of Parliamentary procedure has been dug up with 
beneficial results. But this useless weed still cumbers the 
ground. 

Fourteen years have sped since Joseph Cowen^ shook 
the dust of the House of Commons from off his feet and 

retired to his hermitage at Blaydon-on-Tyne. 

The period is not long in history, but the effect 
of such lapse of time upon the personnel of the House of 
Commons is striking. There are few public bodies of equal 
number in which the outward drain is so strong and steady. 
I doubt whether there are in the present Parliament a 
hundred men who sat in the same House as Joseph Cowen 

1 Died 1900. 



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347 



Yet his memory still lingers over the historic scene, and to 

the very few admitted to his close friendship the memory of 

his rare personality will ever 

smell sweet and blossom in 

the dust. News of his death 

came as a personal blow in 
both political camps. 

There is no position in 
public life Cowen might not 
have achieved had he devoted 
himself to the pursuit. His 
splendid intellectual gifts were 
trained by constant study. 
Endowed with a far-reaching 
and tenacious memory, he 
remembered most things he 
read, and he read everything. 
As an orator of the classic 
style he was unsurpassed in 
the House of Commons. His 
was the antique manner, which 
consisted of making speeches 
as contrasted with debating. 
He rarely took part in the give-and-take of Committee work. 
When the nation throbbed with excitement in face of a great 
political crisis Cowen rose to its height, his splendid oratory 
dominating a breathless audience. His speech on the 
Empress of India Bill, and one in support of the Vote of 
Credit moved in 1878, when Russia was reported to be 
at the gates of Constantinople, will never be forgotten by 
those who heard them. They had undoubtedly been elabor- 
ately prepared, and were, I believe, actually recited from 
memory. But there was about them no smell of the mid- 
night lamp. The picturesque figure with its strangely- 
fashioned garments, the strong Northumbrian burr into 
which his voice lapsed when he was deeply stirred, were 
adjuncts rather than drawbacks to the perfectness of the 
achievement. 




THE HERMIT OF BLAYDON-ON-TYNE. 



348 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

Cowen was as gentle-hearted as the tenderest of women, 
a feature which did not wholly comprise his kinship with the 
Joe, Mr. a., other sex. Oddly enough, in view of his ways 
and Dizzy, of jjfe^ he was not free from personal vanity, and 
was implacable where it had once been affronted. How Mr. 
Gladstone stumbled in this connection has been told. Disraeli 
early noted the strange-looking member for Newcastle, with 
his home-made clothes and his billy-cock hat. After his 
speech on the Vote of Credit, Dizzy, with sweet casualness, 
happed upon Cowen in the same division lobby where 
Gladstone had unconsciously snubbed him. He fell into 
conversation with him, extolled his speech, and made a valu- 
able friend. 

Though Cowen's manner was almost childlike in sim- 
plicity, and his shyness sometimes embarrassing to others, as 

well as to himself, he was 

' The 

one of the keenest-sighted, "Newcastle 

1 J , r 1- • Chronicle." 

shrewdest men of business 
born to canny Northumberland. His 
dealings with the Newcastle Chronicle 
illustrate two sides of his character. 
His proprietorial connection with the 
paper was purely accidental, and, to 
begin with, as unwelcome as it was 
unpremeditated. An earlier proprietor 
found difficulty in making both ends 
meet. In such circumstances he 
followed the not unfamiliar course of 
going for help and counsel to Joe 
Cowen. From time to time loans 
were made without leading to per- 
manent re-establishment. In the end 
Cowen was obliged to take the paper 
A SHADOW OF THE PAST. On his own back. Having come into 

absolute possession he brought to bear 
upon the concern his intuitive knowledge of affairs, his 
shrewd common-sense, his trained business habits. In a 
very few years the Newcastle Chronicle reached the position 




I900 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 349 

it still deservedly holds as one of the most influential and, 
I should say, one of the wealthiest newspapers in the 
provinces. 

During the greater part of the time he sat in the House 
of Commons Cowen nightly transmitted by telegraph to his 
journal a London Letter luminous with political insight and 
knowledge of affairs. He wrote nearly as well as he spoke, 
but in quite a different style. He was as severely simple 
when he had pen in hand as he was ornate when on his legs, 
addressing crowded audiences either at Westminster or from 
a provincial platform. 

Wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice, I doubt whether 
Cowen spent ;if200 a year strictly on himself His charities 
were boundless, though, so far as I know, his ^^^g particular 
name never figured in the advertised list of Friends, 
public subscriptions. Struggling nationalities in any part of 




THE CONSPIRATORS OF EUROPE. 



the world commanded not only his sympathy but his purse- 
One night in the lobby of the House of Commons Cowen 



3 50 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

was having what he dearly loved, a gossip with intimate 
friends. The conversation turned upon some severe process 
just instituted by order of the Czar against certain students in 
St. Petersburg. Cowen talked of them by name, and gave 
some particulars of their private history. 

" I believe," said Sir Wilfrid Lawson, one of the group, 
" that Cowen knows every conspirator in Europe." 

" Yes," said A. M. Sullivan, with whose chivalrous nature 
Cowen had much in common, " and he maintains half of 
them." 

Under date Christmas Day, 1897, Cowen wrote to me a 
letter, in which there is an interesting personal note on his 

"Tranquil Oratory:— 

indiffer= " I am glad you were pleased with my 

^'"' remarks at the Jubilee banquet. My object in 
handing you the little pamphlet was to give you a synopsis 
of my views on national affairs, and not a specimen of my 
mediocre gifts of expression. I think we agree generally on 
the trend of events, but your friendship leads you to over- 
estimate my literary and speaking capacity. I have few of the 
attributes of a genuine orator — enthusiasm, imagination, and 
bursts of fiery words. All I aspire to is a clear and terse 
exposition of principles and facts. I am too imperfectly 
endowed with the ordinary incentives that move men in 
public life — the yearning for applause or the desire of power. 
A kind of tranquil indifferentism deprives me of the oratorical 
skill to please, conciliate, or persuade. But I have drifted 
into an unpardonably lugubrious and personal strain quite 
out of keeping with this festive season." 

The pamphlet alluded to is a reprint of a speech delivered 
by Cowen at the Diamond Jubilee celebration in Newcastle- 

Thesoundofa"P""-'^y"^- ^ ^"^^^ ^ passagc illustrating his 

voice that is oratorical style and testifying to the lofty spirit 

of sane Imperialism of which Cowen was an 

apostle long before it became the cult of to-day. As a piece 

of glowing eloquence it is worth preserving : — 

" There have been empires which have covered a large 
area, and some which have possessed a greater population, 



I900 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 351 

but there have been none at once so dissimilar and yet so 
correlative, so scattered and yet so cohesive, as that of Great 
Britain. There have been races who have rivalled us in 
refinement, but none in practical ability. Greece excelled us 
in the arts of an elegant imagination. But she was more 
ingenious than profound, more brilliant than solid. Rome 
was great in war, in government, and in law. She intersected 
Europe with public works, and her eagled legions extorted 
universal obedience. But her wealth was the plunder of the 
world ; ours is the product of industry. 

" The city states of ancient, and the free towns of 
mediaeval, times aimed more at commerce than conquest. 
Wherever a ship could sail or a colony be planted their 
adventurous citizens penetrated, but they sought trade more 
than territory. Phoenicia turned all the lines of current 
traffic towards herself But she preferred the pleasant abodes 
of Lebanon and the sunlit quays of Tyre to organising an 
empire. Arms had no part in her growth, war no share in 
her greatness. Carthage, which, for a time, counterbalanced 
Rome, robbed the ocean of half its mysteries and more than 
half its terrors, but she did little to melt down racial 
antipathies. Venice in the zenith of her strength gathered a 
halo round her name which the rolling ages cannot dissipate. 
Holland, by her alliance of commerce and liberty, sailed 
from obscurity into the world's regard. Spain and Portugal 
drew untold treasure within their coffers, but its possession 
did not conduce to national virtue. 

" None of these States, with their diverse qualities and 
defects, had imperial aspirations, except Spain. Most of 
them were only magnified municipalities. But the volume 
and value of their trade, although large for the time, was 
meagre when compared with ours. British wealth is unparal- 
leled in commercial history. Add Carthage to Tyre, or 
Amsterdam to Venice, and you would not make another 
London. All things precious and useful, amusing and 
intoxicating, are sucked into its markets. But mercantile 
success, although it implies the possession of self-reliance and 
self-control, of caution and daring, of discipline and enterprise, 



352 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

if unaccompanied by more elevated impulses, will not sustain 
a State. Wealth is essential. It must not, however, be 
wealth simply, but wealth plus patriotism. It is by the 
mingling of the material with the ideal, the aspiring with the 
utilitarian, that the British people have secured their influence 
and elasticity. 

" These qualities have enabled them to dot the surface of 
the globe with their possessions, to rule with success old 
nations of every race and creed, and civilise new lands of 
every kind and clime." 

The Estimates of the year carry the charges for the 
Queen's yacht, launched in January after earlier disaster. 
The Queen's This brings the Queen's private " navee " up to 
Yachts. five ships, for their tonnage and speed certainly 
the costliest fleet in the world. The Queen's first yacht, now 
reduced to the status of a tender, was built more than fifty 
years ago. She cost, to begin with, over ;i^6ooo. That 
does not seem much ; but it was only to begin with. Some 
years ago, when the question was discussed in Committee of 
the House of Commons, it was stated that, taking into 
account repairs alone, not mentioning maintenance, the little 
Elfin had cost ;^500 a ton. Effective contrast was made by 
quotation of analogous expenditure upon one of the stateliest 
ironclads of the day. It was shown that after an equal term 
of public service in all seas the man-of-war cost but ;^8o 
a ton. 

Next in point of age comes the Victoria and Albert, 
built at Pembroke in 1855. Her original cost was i^i 76,820. 
Again, apart from wages of the crew and supply of stores, she 
has, on the average, cost the nation ;^ 12,000 a year, 
which starts her, including original cost, well on the way to 
three-quarters of a million sterling. Third in seniority is the 
Alberta, built in 1863, followed by the Osborne, a fine ship 
of 1850 tons. She cost ;^i 34,000, and expenditure upon 
her in the way of repairs and decorations is estimated at 
;^8ooo a year — nearly as much as the Lord Chancellor 
costs. 



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Mr. Asquith was Secretary of State for the Home 
Department for a period of three years. It is, I believe, one 
of his most pleasant reminiscences that, dealing 

. , , i A \ rr Dies Irae. 

With successive cases, he took on an aggregate 
period of forty years' penal servitude allotted to prisoners by 
a single judge.^ Among friends 
and personal acquaintances the 
judge in question is known as a 
simple- mannered, kind-hearted 
man, brimming over with humour 
and loving-kindness. On the 
Bench, transformed by the cover- 
ing of wig and gown, he is piti- 
less. 

I hear on unquestioned 
authority a striking illustration 
of this paradox. Frequently after 
having passed one of those sen- 
tences that call forth strong 
remonstrance in the Press, his 
lordship has been known privately 
to visit the convict, conversing 

with him or her in the most beautiful, brotherly manner, 
displaying the keenest interest in the spiritual opportunities 
of the prisoner. 

That is nice and kind. On the whole, it may be pre- 
sumed that the convict would prefer the conversation to have 
taken another turn on the Bench, reducing a term of penal 
servitude by from three to five years. 

To the casual observer Sir Grant Duff has neither the 
air nor the manner of a raconteur. The publication of his 
Diary proves afresh how untrustworthy are ..^^^ ^ 
appearances. His volumes — and we are only a Bottle of 
at the beginning of an illimitable series — are full "*"" 
of good things. I once heard him tell a story I do not find 
in his Diary. He claimed for it the mark of respectability, 
as it is founded upon fact. During the First Napoleon's 

1 Mr. Justice Day. 

2 A 




DIES IKAE. 



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campaign in Egypt a Rear-Admiral attached to the British 
Fleet, watching the General's operations, died at sea. With 
his last breath he expressed the wish that his body might be 
sent home for burial. Considering the appliances at com- 
mand of the doctors that seemed an injunction impossible to 
obey. To some one occurred the happy thought that if the 




"THE ADMIRALS RUM. 



body were enclosed in a vessel containing spirits it might be 
safely transported. 

The late Admiral was accordingly nailed up in a hogshead 
of rum., which was transhipped to a frigate going home with 
despatches. On arrival of the ship at Portsmouth the cask 
was broached, and with the exception of the corpse it was 
found to be empty. 

Some of the crew, scenting rum and knowing of nothing 
else, brought a gimlet into play and, subtly inserting straws 
in the aperture, drank the Admiral dry. 



I900 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 355 

This suggested to Sir Wilfrid Lawson, seated at the same 
dinner-table, another story. It is located in Westmorland, 
and must be true because Sir Wilfrid lives in the . 

A matter 

adjoining county. Two neighbours were talking «>* Course, 
over the recent death of a farmer slightly known to both. 

" Did he die of drink ? " asked one. 

" Well," said the other, " I never heard to the contrary." 



CHAPTER XXIX 

JUNE 

Eheu fugaces ! Five years ago this very month of June 

Lord Rosebery's Government was blown out of office by 

a cordite explosion in the House of Commons. 

b^ught'the It chanced that on the night this befell, Mr. 

news to Gladstone and a considerable number of members 

Gothenburg. ^ii -ni- -i-ii /- 

of the last rarliament m which he sat were far 
away from Westminster. They had gone to attend the 
opening of the Kiel Canal, and were homeward bound when 
the momentous news was flashed under sea. The Tantallon 
Castle, with Mr. Gladstone and other members of either 
House on board, was at Gothenburg when the telegram came. 
It was in fragmentary form, and so oddly mixed up with 
announcement made on the same evening by Sir Henry 
Campbell-Bannerman that the Duke of Cambridge had 
been induced to retire from the post of Commander-in-Chief, 
that defeat of the Government seemed a consequential event. 
That a Government having got rid of the Duke should 
straightway get rid of itself was explicable only on the 
principle of the Japanese hari-kari. However, that was all 
we could make out in Gothenburg, and we had to possess 
our souls in patience till the Tantallon Castle slowed up off 
Gravesend, and Sir Donald Currie's agent came on board 
with an armful of newspapers. 

There was a tremendous rush for them by the passengers, 
only Mr. Gladstone appearing indifferent. For more than 

356 




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sixty years he had lived in the vortex of public life. Now, 
whether Ministries stood or fell, whether Parliaments were 
dissolved or went their way, was a matter of minor interest 
to him. Of much more moment was his study of the Danish 
language undertaken since, ten days earlier, the Tantallon 
Castle slowly crept out of the io^^y Thames into the open 
sea. It was with difficulty Mr. Gladstone could be made to 
select a journal from the heap. He walked off with it under 
his arm with an almost bored look upon his face. In the 
cabin men were thronging round any so fortunate to have 
an open newspaper in his hand. For Mr. Gladstone the 
news would keep till he got to his state cabin. 

Another echo from Westminster that reached the Tantallon 
Castle, this earlier time at anchor at Kiel, related to the statue 
of Oliver Cromwell, a subject of animated debate ouver 
in the House of Commons. Mr. Herbert Glad- cromweii. 
stone, in 1895 First Commissioner of Works, submitted with 
the Civil Service Estimates a 
small sum on account of erecting 
a statue to the Lord Protector 
within the precincts of Parlia- 
ment. It was hotly opposed 
by Mr. Justin M'Carthy, then 
leading the Irish Nationalist 
Party. 

As Mr. Arthur Balfour was 
reminded last February when 
his own First Commissioner of 
Works was charged with having 
found a public site for a Crom- 
well statue, the Irish members 
five years ago received powerful 
support from the then Leader of 
the Opposition and his followers. 
So effective was the onslaught 
that, the vote having been carried 

by a bare majority, the Government hastily abandoned the 
project, not to be revived till Mr. Balfour and the gentle- 




THE CROMWELL STATUE. 



36o LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

men who conscientiously voted against it in 1895 came 
into power. 

At Kiel the late Speaker, Lord Peel, came on board the 
Tantallon Castle to pay his respects to Mr. Gladstone. 
They had not met for some time. The air was electrical 
with the buzzing of great events at home and on the 
Continent. 

" And what do you think he talked about ? " Lord Peel 
asked me when he left the state room where Mr. Gladstone 
had for fully ten minutes been earnestly conversing. " Why ! 
about Oliver Cromwell." 

At the luncheon-table the same day Mr. Gladstone was 
still full of the subject. " I am not sure," he said, " that if I 
had been in the House I should have voted with Herbert for 
the statue. I admit that Cromwell was one of the biggest 
men who wielded power in this country. Never actually 
King, no crowned monarch has exceeded the measure of his 
autocracy. The blot on his character I can never overlook 
or forgive was the Irish massacres. I hold that the Irish 
members were fully justified in their opposition to the vote." 

In the interesting speech in which Mr. Balfour this year 
justified what five years ago he had hotly and indignantly 
denounced he spoke disrespectfully of Carlyle's monumental 
work on Cromwell. In this view he was at one with Mr. 
Gladstone. " Carlyle's Cromwell," said the old man eloquent, 
" is a piece of pure fetichism." 

The Terrace of the House of Commons maintains its 
favour in the eyes of London Society. It certainly has 
Trees for the i^iany claims to pre-eminence in that field. 
Terrace. If is sccludcd, though accessible. The scene 
up and down the river, with Lambeth Palace flooded in 
the light of the setting sun, is exceedingly beautiful. Some 
of the men, sitting at tables, strolling about, or leaning 
on the wall of the Terrace, bear the best-known names 
in England. Moreover, for ladies, wives and daughters 
of members or their bosom friends, there is, whilst they sip 
tea and toy with strawberries, a certain subtle conscious- 



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ness that they are, in degree, assisting at the making 

of laws and of history. At the very moment they, 

with tea- cup extended towards the 

hostess, are saying, " Thank you ; only 

one piece, please," Mr. Caldwell may 

be addressing a crowded House from 

above the gangway, or that infant 

Roscius of the Parliamentary stage, 

Mr. W. Redmond, may be thundering 

defiance from below it. 

For womankind the attractions of 
the situation are, quite unintentionally, 
increased by a certain stern, not to say 
aggressive, line of demarcation. Just 
as boating on the Thames you come at 
some quiet spot upon a half-submerged 
post (generally on the slant) displaying 
the legend " Danger," so at the eastward 
end of the Terrace, near the main 
entrance, upstands a board bearing the 
strange device, " For members only." 
No female footstep, however small the 

imprint, may pass the line marked by this symbol of man's 
exclusiveness. Here, in haughty solitude, sit the Benedicts 
of the House of Commons, Colonel Mark Lockwood, Colonel 
Saunderson, and the like — men who hold that there is a 
place for everything and that everybody, especially woman, 
should be in her place. 

It was this spirit of exclusiveness that led to the adoption 
of what is known as the new staircase. Visitors to Benares 
will remember how on walking down any of the ^ j^^^ 
passages to the Ganges leading to the ghats, the staircase, 
natives fresh from their bath in the holy river shrink back 
against the wall, lest by accident they should suffer con- 
tamination by touch even of the hem of the garment of 
the unbeliever. In unconscious development of this feeling, 
a section of members accustomed to frequent the guarded 
inclosure, complained of obstruction on the staircase leading 




THE INF.\NT ROSCIUS- 
MR. W. REDMOND. 



362 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

from the Terrace to the corridors and lobbies of the 
House. Going or coming about the business of the State 
they were, they complained, hampered by women, who always 
walked in the middle of the staircase, showing no inclination 
to " make a gangway." 

It was hoped that this objection being pressed would 
result in the closing against women of this approach to the 
Terrace. So it did. But the authorities of the House, being 
all married men, were constrained to meet the difficulty with 
due regard to the rights of woman. This was done by the 
costly expedient of making a new staircase, by which cavalier 
members now escort the fair guests whom they have invited 
to tea on the Terrace. 

This has an unforeseen advantage. Not only does it 
land the ladies on the scene at a spot distant from the male 
The Peers' inclosure, which it is undesirable further to allude 
Portion. to, but it brings them in closer contiguity to the 
peers. The western and bleaker end of the long promenade 
is the patrimony of the peers. They may an' they please — 
a few do — secure a table in advance, and take tea in solitary 
dignity. Or they may give little tea parties of their own, 
just as if they were commoners. As a matter of fact, noble 
lords frequenting the Terrace at tea-time prefer to join tables 
set at the liveliest end of the Terrace. 

One exception to this rule made memorable the ordinary 
Session of last year. All of a summer afternoon the Lord 
High Chancellor was observed presiding at a tea-table round 
which clustered a dream of fair women. He did not wear 
his wig and gown, but nothing else was lacking to the grace 
and dignity with which he managed the large brown tea-pot 
necessitated by the breadth of his hospitality. 

There is one possible and appropriate addition to the 

attractiveness of the Terrace as a summer evening lounge for 

Why not i'^^ed legislators so obvious, that it is a marvel it 

Trees? has been overlooked. Why should not the long, 
unlovely length of the flagged pavement be broken up by 
pots and tubs of flowering shrubs ? The resources of Kew 
Gardens are not exhausted. At trifling expense Sir T. 



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Thistleton Dyer, being duly authorised, could make the 
Terrace of the House of Commons blossom like the rose. 
The balustrade overlooking the river seems created for the 
special purpose of showing how fair are the flowers that 
bloom in Kew Gardens. On the terraces and by the hall 




THE LORD CHANCELLOR WIELDING THE TEA-POT. 

doors of country houses it is a common thing to see masses 
of colour over-topping big vases. Why should the terrace 
of the town house of the legislator be left forlorn ? 

Like the quality of mercy, such a display of foliage and 
colour overlooking London's greatest highway would be 
twice blessed, blessing those privileged to frequent the 
Terrace and those who, passing up and down the river in 
penny steamers, longingly look on. 



There lie hidden to-day in a muniment room in Victoria 
Tower, Westminster, a collection of historical documents 
whose personal history is not less romantic than unconsidered 
the narratives they record. When, in 1834, fire Trifles, 
broke out in the old Palace of Westminster, one of the 
officers of the House of Lords bethought him of certain 
bundles of musty papers dumped down in an ancient annex. 



)64 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1900 



Tradition handed down to the staff the impression that these 
documents were exceedingly valuable, which to the official 
mind fully accounted for their being hidden away in a 
cellar. The officer made gallant and successful efforts to 
save them. Being rescued they straightway fell into their 
old condition of disregard. While the new Houses of 
Parliament were being built the bundles were shifted about 
from shed to shed to suit the convenience of the workmen. 
When the building was completed the hapless treasure-trove 
was carted into the basement story of the offices of the 
House of Lords, which, running parallel with the river at 
something below its level, was recognised as the very place 
in which to store precious papers. 

More than a quarter of a century later a gentleman 
engaged upon an historical work asked permission to make 
search in the House of Lords for any papers bearing upon 
the subject. He was courteously let loose in this river 
cellar, and had not been there many days before he discovered 
a veritable Klondike of papers relating in intimate fashion to 
some of the most critical and interesting epochs in English 
history, dating from 1479 to 1664. 

In his History of the Rebellion — meaning the establish- 
ment of the Commonwealth — Lord Clarendon, writine of 
Naseby fight, reports how "in the end the King- 

The Love. ,,, • , ^,, , , 

Letters of a ^^as compelled to quit the held, and to leave 
King and Fairfax master of all his foot, cannons, and 

Queen. ' ' 

baggage, amongst which was his own cabinet, 
where his most secret papers were, and letters between the 
Queen and him." Here, among these unconsidered bundles, 
treated for centuries as if they had been dirty linen, lay 
perdues these love-letters passing between the hapless King 
and his wife Henrietta, whose portraits, limned by the hand 
of Vandyck, adorned through dark days of the past winter 
the walls of Burlington House. 

The Puritans, with malicious intent, printed and circulated 
these letters, just as, after the Tuileries was sacked, the 
correspondence of Napoleon III. and the Empress, found in 
private chambers, was given to the greedy mob. The French 



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CHARLES I. AND HENRIETTA MARIA. 



Imperial fugitives did not come so well out of the ordeal as 
do their seventeenth century predecessors. Charles I. was a 
bad King, but these letters, lately rescued out of the abyss of 
centuries, show him in 
a gentle light. The 
Queen is equally 
tender in the dark 
hour of adversity. 
Both write in cipher, 
the secret of which 
was not withheld from 
the prying eyes of the 
Puritans, whose tran- 
script of the letters 
now lies hidden from 
the world in the soli- 
tude of Victoria 
Tower. 

Queen Henrietta uses the olden French familiar to the 
readers of Montaigne's Essays. Writing on the 1 6th of 
January 1643, " au Roy Mon Seigneur," from an unnamed 
place, she says (being translated) : — 

My dear Heart, I made an account to depart yesterday, but the 
winds were so boisterous that my goods and luggage could not be 
sent aboard to-day. Howsoever I hope it will be done to-morrow. 
If the wind serves I mean to be gone on Thursday, God willing. 
I have so much unexpected business now upon my departure, which 
causes me to be extremely troubled with the headache, and to make 
use of another which I would have done myself, but that I have 
many letters to write into France. Watt being come thence, I shall 
only tell you that he hath brought me all that I could desire from 
thence. Farewell, my dear Heart. 

" The King my lord," writing from Oxford, " To my 
Wyfe, 26 March, 1645, by Sakfield," thus dis- Kingcharies. 
courses, with kingly variety of spelling : — 

Deare hart, I could not get thy Dispaches wch Petit brought 
before yesterday wch I red with wonder anufe to fynde thee interpret 
my letter, marked 1 6, as if I had not beene well satisfied with some- 



366 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

thing in thy letter by Pooly. I confess that I expressed anger in 
that letter, but it was by complaining to thee not of thee, and 
indeed when I am accused of concealing my Affaires from thee 
either by negligence or worse I cannot bee well pleased and though 
I am behoulding to thy love for not believing I am not the more 
obliged to my accusers' goodwills ; albeit the effects thereof (by thy 
kyndeness) is most welcome to mee, and certainly I know nothing 
less in thy power than to make me be displeased with thee : I have 
beene and am seldom other then angry with myselfe for not ex- 
pressing my Affection to thee according to my intentions. So far 
have I alwais beene from taking anything vnkyndly of thee ; as for 
my desyring thee to keepe my Dispaches it was in particular and 
not in generall conserning those of Irland, not knowing whether 
thou thought secrecy in that business so requiset as I know it to be, 
for many ar of that nature as ar fitt to be showen and wher they ar 
of an undented kynde these I confess needs no items ; but where 
I am not sure of thy concurring opinion there to give thee a causion 
may show my want of judgemt but not of confidence in thee : In a 
word, Sweet hart, I cannot be other than kynde to thee and con- 
fident of thee ; and say what thou will thou must and does know 
this to be trew of him who is eternally Thyne. 

Another discovery made among precious lumber stowed 

in out-of-the-way chambers in the House of Lords was the 

A Romance of lo^g-lost MS. Prayer-Book sent to the peers by 

the Prayer- Charles IL, to assist them in compiling the 

Prayer-Book. The volume has a curious history. 

During the Commonwealth an order was issued abolishing 

the Book of Common Prayer. One of the first proceedings 

of Charles IL on the restoration of the monarchy was to 

appoint a commission to " Review the Book of Common 

Prayer, comparing the same with the most ancient liturgies 

which have been used in the Church in the primitive and 

purest times, and to prepare such alterations and additions 

as they thought fit to offer." When Parliament passed an 

Act re-establishing the Church this MS. volume was ordered 

to be appended thereto. 

This condition was observed, and up to the beginning 
of the century the documents remained intact. One day a 
clergyman asked and obtained permission to consult the MS. 
Prayer-Book on a doctrinal point that perturbed his soul, 



I900 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 367 

The boon was granted by a sympathetic Black Rod. But, 
alack ! the temptation, greater than any resisted by St. 
Anthony, proved too much for the holy man. Soon after 
he had departed it was found the precious volume had also 
gone. Nothing was heard of it for many years. Whether 
pricked by conscience the rev. gentleman voluntarily returned 
the book, or whether, tracked to his sanctum, it was rescued 
from his felonious grasp, does not appear in the loosely kept 
records of the day. It is, however, certain that by the year 
I 8 1 9 it was restored. There is record that it was seen and 
handled in 1824. After the burning of the Houses of 
Parliament ineffective search was made for it. Some twenty- 
seven years ago, it being found that the Old Tower at the 
back of Abingdon Street was inconveniently stuffed with old 
Acts of Parliament, they were removed to Victoria Tower. 
Amongst them was found this priceless MS., which has again 
relapsed into the condition of the forgotten. 

Surely an honourable place might be found for it in 
the manuscript-room of the British Museum, where, albeit 
through a glass darkly, we might see its face. 

There is an elder, even more historic, Prayer-Book still 
amissing. When in the fifth and sixth year of his reign 
Edward VI. caused to be passed a statute King Edward's 
establishing the Protestant religion throughout Prayer-Book. 
his realm, it was ordered that the Book of Common Prayer, 
concurrently compiled, should be " annexed and joined to 
this present statute." The precedent was, as we have seen, 
followed in the reign of Charles II. with equally calamitous 
results. 

When, in 1661, Charles II.'s Commissioners came to 
look for this Prayer-Book it was nowhere to be found. 
There was the original statute duly preserved, but the Prayer- 
Book had disappeared. There is on record a letter from 
John Browne, the Clerk of the Parliament in 1683, addressed 
to one of his colleagues, wherein he writes : " In Q. Marie's 
tyme the Common Praier Booke which was annexed to the 
Act was taken away." 

The first body of Royal Commissioners on historical 



368 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1900 



MS. (amongst the few survivors are Lord Salisbury and 
Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice) were of opinion that this thrice- 
precious MS. would some day be found amongst the medley 
of MSS. judiciously housed in the basement story of 
the offices of the House of Lords. Has it been found, or 
has the matter been forgotten in the pressure of business 
that weighs upon the peers ? 



CHAPTER XXX 

JULY 

One of the characteristics of the House of Commons that 
endear it to the student of manners is its absolute free- 
dom from snobbishness. It is no respecter of J^^^ ^^^g^ ^,, 
persons. Trojan and Tyrean are one to it. commons. 
What it likes above all things is a man of capacity, of 
simple manner, with the gift of conveying information and 
argument in lucid speech. Whether he be born heir to a 
peerage, or whether he passed some years of early life in a 
coal mine, affects its judgment only in the direction of 
securing more indulgent attention to one of the latter class. 

It is human and English to the extent that, at the 
bottom of its heart, it loves a lord. But if strained 
imagination may go the length of conjuring a stupid man 
bearing a lordly title, his attempts at engaging its favourable 
attention would not meet with greater success than if his 
father had been a tailor. The case of Lord Randolph 
Churchill illustrates the situation. Undoubtedly the fact 
that his father was a duke gave him a favourable opening. 
Had he failed to seize and make the most of it, an armful 
of dukes would not have helped him. Had he come of a 
line of tradesmen he would, perhaps a little more slowly, but 
inevitably, have reached the position he eventually won in 
the House of Commons, 

One of the most successful speeches of the present 
Session was delivered by a Welsh member who, according 

369 2 B 



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to his own modest record, set forth in the pages of " Dod," 

served as a schoolmaster in Wales, and, coming to London, 

became assistant master in a Board 
School, finally advancing to a tutorship 
at Oxford. Yet Mr. William Jones, 
unexpectedly interposing in debate on 
the question of the establishment of a 
Catholic University in Dublin, instantly 
commanded the attention of the House, 
which, filling as he went on, sat in the 
attitude of entranced attention familiar 
in moments when it was addressed by 
John Bright or Mr. Gladstone. 

The secret of this rare triumph is 
that Mr. Jones very rarely interposes in 
debate ; that he knows what he is 
talking about ; that his lips are touched 
with the fire of that eloquence possible 
only to the Celt ; that his manner is 
modest almost to the verge of timidity. 
There are men who would barter coronets 
or great wealth for the reception spon- 
taneously accorded to the unassuming 

Welsh schoolmaster. In the House of Commons neither 

rank nor money could purchase it. 




A WELSH ORATOR, 
MR. WILLIAM JONES, M. P. 



Many people are familiar with a description of the 

personal appearance of Mr. Gladstone in his earliest days 

in the House of Commons without knowing the 

An early _ ^ 

Portrait and a source of its Origin. "Mr. Gladstone's appear- 
Forecast. ^^^^ ^^^ manners," it was written in the Session 
of 1838, "are much in his favour. He is a fine-looking 
man. He is about the usual height and of good figure. 
His countenance is mild and pleasant, and has a highly 
intellectual expression. His eyes are clear and quick, his 
eyebrows are dark and rather prominent. There is not a 
dandy in the House but envies what Truefitt would call his 
fine head of jet-black hair. It is always carefully parted 



I90O LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 371 

from the crown downwards to his brow, where it is tastefully 
shaded. His features are small and regular, and his com- 
plexion must be a very unworthy witness if he does not 
possess an abundant stock of health." 

The quotation is from a work entitled Random Recol- 
lections of the Lords and Commo?is. It was published in 
1838 anonymously, a fortunate arrangement, since it per- 
mitted the author that freer scope of description and criticism 
that makes his work precious to succeeding generations. I 
have the good-fortune to possess a copy of the first edition 
in its old-fashioned, paper-boarded covers. Looking up the 
familiar quotation, the only passage of the book that survives 
in current literature, it is amusing to find this shrewd 
observer's estimate of the possibilities of the young member 
for Newark. 

" He is," wrote Mr. James Grant — there is no secret now 
about the authorship of the work — " a man of very consider- 
able talent, but has nothing approaching to genius. His 
abilities are much more the result of an excellent education 
and of mature study than of any prodigality on the part of 
Nature in the distribution of her mental gifts. I have no 
idea that he will ever acquire the reputation of a great 
statesman. His views are not sufficiently profound or en- 
larged for that. . . . He is plausible even when most in 
error. When it suits himself or his party he can apply 
himself with the strictest closeness to the real point at issue ; 
when to evade that point is deemed most politic no man 
can wander from it more widely." 

That last passage is excellent. Written more than sixty 
years ago, it exactly describes Mr. Gladstone's Parliamentary 
practice up to the date of his final appearance at the table. 

Mr. Grant, I believe, lived long enough to see his early 
judgment of Mr. Gladstone's capabilities falsified. Prophesy- 
ing before he knew, he had, however, the satis- pjtfs Maiden 
faction of erring in distinguished company. Speech. 
George Selwyn heard Pitt's first speech in the House of 
Commons, and, writing to Lord Carlisle, under date 13th 
June 178 I, he says, " I heard yesterday young Pitt ; I came 



372 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

down into the House to judge for myself. He is a young 
man who will undoubtedly make his way in the world by 
his abilities. But to give him credit for being very extra- 
ordinary upon what I heard yesterday would be absurd. 
If the oration had been pronounced equally well by a young 
man whose name was not of the same renown, and if the 
matter and expression had come without that prejudice, all 
which could have been said was that he was a sensible and 
promising young man." 

" The Earl of Rosebery has an aversion which nothing 
but some powerful consideration can overcome to take any 

L^jrj active part in great national questions. He 
Rosebery. acquits himsclf in his addresses to the House in 
a very respectable manner. He speaks with great emphasis, 
as if every sentence he uttered were the result of deep con- 
viction. The earnestness of his manner always ensures him 
an attentive hearing, and adds much to the effect of what he 
says. His speeches usually indicate an acquaintance with 
their subject. His elocution would be considered good were 
it not that its effect is impaired by his very peculiar voice — 
so peculiar that I know not how to describe it. All I can 
say respecting it is that a person who has once heard it will 
never forget it. 

" He always speaks with sufficient loudness to be audible 
in all parts of the House. He seldom falters, and still more 
rarely hesitates for want of suitable phraseology. His 
language is in good taste, without being polished. His 
addresses never extend to any length, but they are compre- 
hensive. There is generally as much matter-of-fact or 
argument in them as a more wordy speaker would swell out 
to double the extent. 

" His action requires but little notice. He is a quiet 
speaker. His body stands nearly as still as if he were 
transfixed. He now and then moves both hands at once 
just as if he were waving them to some friend he recognised 
at a distance. 

" The noble Earl is slightly below the middle height, 



1900 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



373 



with a moderate inclination to corpulency. His complexion 
partakes more of sallowness than of any other quality I 
could name. His hair has something of a greyish colour. 
In the features of his face there is nothing peculiar. He 
looks a good-natured man, and I believe he is so in reality. 
He is in his fifty-fifth year." 

If he were alive now he would be in his i 17th. As the 
reader, misled by the opening sentence, would begin to 
suspect, this pen-and-ink sketch does not refer to the Earl 
of Rosebery who fills so large and luminous a space in the 
closing years of the Victorian era. It was his grandfather, 
the foun^h Earl, who sat in the first Parliament of the Queen, 
and in succeeding ones up to the year 1868. The sketch, 
penned in 1838, is taken from the same lively volume that 
enshrines the more familiar portrait of young William Ewart 
Gladstone. 

Lord Ashbourne is not only a charming after-dinner 
speaker himself, but was at least on one evening the cause 
of a tour de force in after-dinner speaking by *„ »« 
another. On the occasion alluded to Lord dinner 
Ashbourne was, as he often is, a host in himself, ^'^^^^ 
The dinner was given at the United Service Club, to welcome 




POST-PRANDIAL HUMOUR. 
LORD ASHBOURNE AND MR. CHAUNCEY DEPEW, 



Sir Henry Drummond Wolff, on one of those not infrequent 
visits to London with which he tempers the exile of Her 
Majesty's Minister at Madrid. The Marquis of Londonderry 



374 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1900 



sat on Lord Ashbourne's right, and next to him Mr. Chauncey 
Depevv. 

It was a small and purely social dinner amongst old 
friends, and nothing was remoter from expectation than 

speech - making. 




When 


the ser- 


vants 


left the 


room. 


to every 



-^■rr 



( 



c 



.> i^i^ 



one's surprise the 
host rose to pro- 
pose a toast to 
the health of the 
Marquis of Lon- 
donderry and 
Her Majesty's 
Minister at 
Madrid. 

I never saw a 
man so annoyed 
as was Lord Lon- 
donderry. He 
had come out for 
a pleasant even- 

LORD LONDONDERRY (tIIE NEW POSTMASTKK-GENERAL). mg, and hCrC WaS 

thrust upon him 
the burden of after-dinner speech -making. If coals had 
suddenly gone down half-a-crown a ton his countenance 
could not have more nearly resembled their colour. 
Drummond Wolff, on the contrary, was quite elate. A 
charming after-dinner speaker, he welcomed this unexpected 
opportunity of displaying his talent. 

Lord Ashbourne went on for some time, expatiating on 
the high qualities of Lord Londonderry, and extolling the 
diplomatic talent of Drummond Wolff. " With your per- 
mission," he added, in an abruptly concluding sentence, " I 
will call upon Mr. Chauncey Depew to respond to the 
toast." 

The surprise was complete, not least for Chauncey 



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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



375 



Depew. But in a moment he was on his legs, and made 
response which for wit and appropriateness could not have 
been exceeded by an ordinary man with the advantage of a 
week's preparation. 



Free and Easy. 



The Speaker of the House of Commons is the cus- 
todian of great traditions. He might as reasonably be 
expected to appear in the Chair without wig and 
gown as to countenance at his official table guests 
who wore not the wedding garment. Mr. Peel's kindly in- 
stincts and hospitable intent on one occasion got over the 
difficulty. In supplement to his Wednesday evening 
banquets, when members cluster round him in Court dress, 
he gave a non-official dinner at which — as in quite other 
circumstances at Lord Onslow's charming dinners in Rich- 
mond Terrace — it was optional for guests to present 
themselves either in morning 
or evening dress. There were 
thirty-six present, twelve repre- 
senting in the House of Com- 
mons Labour constituencies. 
Each of these was sandwiched 
between two other members 
of the House, and a most 
delightful evening was spent. 

Among the Welsh members 
was the gentleman known in 
the Principality as " Mabon." 
Some one suggested that the 
honourable member could sing. 
" Mabon " blushed assent. The 
Speaker's pleasure being taken, 
" Mabon " rose to his feet and 
trolled forth a lightsome Welsh 
ditty. 

In the dining - room at 
Speaker's House three centuries of Speakers look down 
from the walls on the more or less festive dinner- scene. 




MABON.' 



376 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

What they thought of this particular occasion is, for obvious 
reasons, not recorded. 

I wonder how many mennbers of the present House know 
that within the last half century there were two forms of 
Protestants oath — One for the Protestant, one for the Roman 
and Catholics. CathoIic ? Mr. Gladstone remembered the scene 
in the House of Commons on a November day in 1837, 
when the newly-elected Parliament was sworn in. Then, as 
now, the performance was hastened by carrying it on in 
batches. As many members as could manage clustering 
together to touch the Bible repeated the oath in chorus. 

I gathered from Mr. Gladstone's story that in those days 
members repeated the oath aloud. When opposition to 
Roman Catholics enjoying full civil rights was at length over- 
come — Pitt, it will be remembered, was, after strenuous effort, 
beaten on the point by that eminent statesman George HI. 
— Protestants insisted upon retention of the privilege of 
denouncing Roman Catholics in the oath of allegiance taken 
at the Table of the House of Commons. It was, Mr. 
Gladstone said, a most uncompromising performance, Roman 
Catholics being described as idolaters destined to everlasting 
perdition. 

What engraved the circumstance on the tablets of his 
memory, legible after an interval of sixty years, was that at a 
table adjoining that at which the young member for Newark 
and a dozen other stalwart Protestants were vigorously curs- 
ing their Catholic colleagues stood Daniel O'Connell, quietly 
taking the form of oath prepared for members of his faith. 

" He could not fail," said Mr. Gladstone, " to have heard 
the chorus of our charitable performance." 

There are few things in a small way more irritating to 
members of the House of Commons than the censorship 
sub-editing their questions undergo at the hands of the 
Questions, clcrks at the Table. It is a wholesome restric- 
tion that the manuscript of all questions addressed to 
Ministers shall be handed in at the Table. They are read. 



1900 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 377 

usually by the second clerk, and sent on to the printer, 
sometimes with serious emendations. It is a common 
occurrence for members, especially gentlemen from Ireland, 
to make public complaint on submitting their question that 
its text has been so manipulated as to have lost its point. 
That is to say, in inquiring about delay in delivery of letters 
at Clonakilty or Ballymahooly, the Clerk at the Table has 
struck out a broad hint that the Minister to whom the 
question is addressed was guiltily cognizant of the secret of 
the sudden death of a connection on his wife's side. 

So deeply rooted is the feeling of resentment at tamper- 
ing with literary work to whose composition a full hour may 
have been devoted, that this Session a member so little 
given to revolt as Mr. Kimber came in contact with the 
authority of the Chair by insistence on the reinstatement of 
the original text of his question. In this case there was no 
wanton and groundless insinuation of foul play suffered by a 
mother-in-law. The Clerk at the Table thought some pass- 
ages were irrelevant and struck them out. Mr. Kimber 
complained that the first intimation of the matter he received 
was when he opened his copy of the Orders and found his 
prize prose-poem of a question reduced to baldest limits. 
He attempted to graft upon the stem of his remarks the 
suppressed cutting, so that the House might judge between 
him and the Clerk at the Table. The Speaker was down 
on him like a thunderbolt, frustrating a familiar device. 

In this particular case the Speaker admitted that he had 
not been made aware of drastic dealing with the manuscript. 
But, according to his constant ruling, he peremptorily declined 
to permit discussion of the procedure at the Table or repeti- 
tion of the words struck oiit of the question. Mr. Kimber 
was compelled to accept the changeling which bore his name 
in the list of questions, though, as he dolefully said, he was 
not able to recognise it. 

Mr. Gully is equal to all occasions, and met this unex- 
pected outburst with his accustomed firmness and urbanity. 
As a rule he is warned beforehand of anything in the wind 
by the simple process of a conference which precedes each 



378 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1900 



sitting of the House. On every day the House meets the 

Preparing for clerks at the Table have an audience of the 

a Sitting. Speaker. They draw his attention to any point 

of order Hkely to be raised in the course of the forthcoming 




THE SPEAKER RIDING ON THE WHIRLWIND. 

sitting. The situation is discussed, precedents are looked 
up, and when the whirlwind rises the Speaker is prepared to 
ride upon it. 



The Earl of Onslow holds exceptional position in Parlia- 
ment by reason of the fact that two of his ancestors became 
Double Speakers of the House of Commons. That is a 
Honours, matter of public record. There is another, less 
familiar, fact which establishes the unique position of the 
Under Secretary for the India Office. Twice has he moved 
the Address in the House of Lords. 

The first occasion was the 5th of February 1880, the 
principal topics of the Queen's Speech having reference to 
the capture and deposition of Cetewayo and the Afghan 



I900 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 379 

invasion after the murder of Sir Louis Cavagnari. The 
second time was on the 19th of August 1886, Parliament 
having met immediately after the General Election that 
smashed Home Rule and sent the Liberal Party into the 
wilderness. On that occasion the noble Earl was able to 
approve the decision announced in the Queen's Speech, that 
in view of the date Her Majesty abstained from recommend- 
ing for the consideration of Parliament any measures save 
those essential to the conduct of the public service during 
the remainder of the year. 

Invitation to move or second the Address in either House 
is a compliment highly prized. How it came about that it 
should be thus lavished upon an individual is not explained. 
Lord Onslow modestly surmises that Lord Salisbury forgot 
the honour had already been bestowed upon him. It is 
equally reasonable to suppose that the Premier cherished such 
pleased recollections of the glowing eloquence of the speech 
on the 5 th February 1880, that, like a person who shall 
here be nameless, he in August 1886 "asked for more." 



CHAPTER XXXI 



AUGUST 



Commons, creep in the 
accustomed to allude to 



An institution which from time to time loomed large and 

ominously in Parliamentary debate has ceased to exist. 

jorkins in the Whenever Sir John Gorst wanted to make flesh 

House of Commons he was 
the Committee of Council on 
Education. The mere 
writing or printing of the 
phrase will to the un- 
accustomed ear convey no 
idea of its effect when 
uttered by the Vice- 
President. It was gener- 
ally evoked when any 
awkward question arose in 
debate or conversation on 
educational matters. The 
House learned to know 
when Sir John was coming 
to it. He leaned his 
elbow a little more heavily 
on the brass-bound box. His countenance was softened by 
a reverential look. His voice sank to the sort of whisper 
you sometimes hear in church. Then came the slowly 
accentuated syllables — the Committee of the Council on 
Education. 

380 




SIR JOHN gorst: "I WANT TO MAKE 
YOUR FLESH CREEP." 



I goo 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



381 



Nobody except Sir John knew of whom the Committee 
was composed, what it did, or where it sat. That only made 
its influence the greater, the citation of its name the more 
thrilling. Its function in connection with National Education 
was to shut up persistent inquirers and ward off inconvenient 
criticism or demand. It is an old device, certainly going as 
far back as the days of David Copperfield. The Committee 
of Council on Education played the part of Jorkins to the 
Vice-President's Spenlow. He would be ready — nay, was 
anxious — to concede anything demanded. But there was 
the Committee of the Council on Education. That, he was 
afraid, would prove inexorable, though at the same time he 
would not neglect an opportunity of bringing the matter 
under its notice. 

The Committee of Council on Education is dead and 
buried. It ceased to exist by an amendment of the Educa- 
tion Act which, frivolous-minded people will recognise, 
appropriately came into operation on the ist of April. But, 
as in the case of the grave of the faithful lovers, " out of his 
bosom there grew a wild briar and out of her bosom a rose," 
so from the sepulchre 

of the Committee of 

Council on Education 

has grown another body 

with another name. I 

believe it is actually 

composed of the same 

persons, including the 

President of the Council, 

the First Lord of the 

Treasury, the Chancellor 

of the Exchequer, and 

the principal Secretaries 

of State. Diligently 

following the example 

of its predecessor it never meets, nor is it ever consulted on 

matters connected with education. 

By the wanton change of name the spell woven about its 




THE LAY OF THE LAST V.-P. 



382 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

predecessor is broken. A potent influence for good is with- 
drawn from the House of Commons. The blow personally 
dealt at Sir John Gorst is in the worst sense of the word 
stunning. Mercifully the Act recognises the impossibility of 
the situation. Having abolished the Committee of Council 
on Education, it also makes an end of the Vice-President. 
Sir John will retain his title and his office through what 
remains of the life of the present Administration. With its 
close a page will be turned over, and the House of Commons 
will know no more the Vice-President of the Committee of 
Council on Education. 

Looking through Lewes's Life of Goethe, I come upon 
a letter written by Thackeray forty-five years ago, in which he 
Mr. Gladstone's <^^sc^it)es a visit to the Grand Old Man of Weimar, 
eyes. " f^jg eyes," he writes, " were extraordinarily 
dark, piercing, and brilliant. I felt quite afraid before them, 
and recollect comparing them to the eyes of the hero of a 
certain romance, called Melmoth the Wanderer, which used 
to alarm us boys thirty years ago — eyes of an individual who 
had made a bargain with a certain person, and at an extreme 
old age retained these eyes in all their awful splendour." 

Not less a prominent feature in a striking countenance 
were Mr. Gladstone's eyes. They were the most deeply 
luminous, the most fearfully flashing, I ever saw in a 

human face. Like every one 
else who came in contact with 
him, Mr. Lecky was much struck 
by the phenomenon. In a 
notable passage written by way 
of preface to a new edition of 
his Democracy and Liberty he 
writes : " He had a wonderful 
A FLASHING EVE. cyc— a bird-of-prey eye- 

fierce, luminous, and restless. 
' When he differed from you,' a great friend and admirer 
of his once said to me, ' there were moments when 
he would give you a glance as if he would stab you to the 




I goo 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



383 



heart.' There was something indeed in his eye in which 
more than one experienced judge saw dangerous symptoms 
of possible insanity. Its piercing glance added greatly to his 
eloquence, and was, no doubt, one of the chief elements of that 
strong personal magnetism which he undoubtedly possessed. 
Its power was, I believe, partly due to a rare physical 
peculiarity. Boehm, the sculptor, who was one of the best 
observers of the human face I have ever known, who saw 
much of Gladstone and carefully studied him for a bust, was 
convinced of this. He told me that he was once present 
when an altercation between him 
and a Scotch professor took place, 
and that the latter started up from 
the table to make an angry reply, 
when he suddenly stopped as if 
paralysed or fascinated by the 
glance of Gladstone ; and Boehm 
noticed that the pupil of Glad- 
stone's eye was visibly dilating, and 
the eyelid round the whole circle 
of the eye drawing back, as may 
be seen in a bird of prey." 

No one knowing Mr. Lecky, 
with his soft voice, his pathetic air 
of self-effacement, can imagine him 
saying these bitter things. He 
did not speak them, yet there they 
are, as he wrote them in the 
safe seclusion of his study. The 
picture is not drawn with effusively 
friendly hand. But no one familiar with Mr. Gladstone in 
his many moods can deny that there is much veracity in it. 

I have never but twice heard Mr. Gladstone speak 
with personal resentment of men opposed to him in the 
political arena. I forget the name of one of the subjects 
of his acrimony, though I have a clear impression that he 
was a person of no importance. The other is a noisy, frothy, 
self-seeking member of the present House of Commons. It 




MK. LECKY STRUCK BY A 
PHENOMENON. 



384 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1900 



was at Dalmeny, during one of the Midlothian campaigns, 
when the telegraph brought news of this gentleman's re- 
election, Mr. Gladstone offered an observation in those deep 
chest notes that marked his access of righteous indignation. 
Then I saw in his eye that flashing light which Mr. Boehm 
describes as having shrivelled up the Scotch professor. The 
expression was by no means uncommon whether he were on 
his legs in the House of Commons or seated at a dinner- 
table. But the awful lighting-up of his countenance invariably 
accompanied not reflections upon individuals, but comment 
upon some outrage of the high principles, honour and obedi- 
ence to which were infused in his blood. 



In an extra - Parliamentary speech delivered in the 

course of the Session Lord Salisbur}^ found opportunity of 

The Primrose sxtolling the Primrose League as an instrument 

Bud. of national good. In a gleam of hope he almost 

saw in it a means of amending and counteracting the inherent 

weaknesses of the British Constitution. This is interesting 

and amusing to those 
who remember the 
birth of the Associa- 
tion. I recall a little 
dinner given by Lord 
Randolph Churchill at 
No. 2 Connaught Place, 
in the early eighties. 
The company num- 
bered four, including 
the host. Sir Henry 
Wolff, and Sir John 
Gorst. Of the P'ourth 
Party, Sir Henry Wolfl" 
was the only one who 
had associated himself in the promotion of the new Guild. 
To Lord Randolph it was an amusing enterprise. I well 
remember how he chaffed Sir Henry, being backed up by 
Sir John Gorst. 





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THE CULT OF THE PKIMKOSE. 



I900 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 385 

At that time neither Sir Henry Wolff" nor Algernon 
Borthwick — now Lord Glenesk — had any idea to what 
proportions the grain of mustard seed they planted would 
grow. As for Lord Salisbury, who to-day almost drops into 
poetry in his adulation, it is more than probable that at this 
time he had never heard of it. If he had, "the image of 
the housemaid " would certainly have crossed his mind with 
an application disastrous to the new departure. At the 
dinner I speak of Sir Henry Wolff laughingly defended himself 
from the attacks made by his colleagues deprecating serious 
intention in the matter. He and they lived long enough to 
see the Primrose League with all its — perhaps because of its 
— fantastic flummery grow into a political power, crystallising 
the conservatism latent in the mind of woman, and cunningly 
directing her influence upon a certain order of male mind. 
If political services are to be crowned with meet reward, 
Lord Salisbury ought to make a duke of the man who 
invented the Primrose League. 

There is an accidental point of resemblance and a striking 
difference in the outset of the careers of Pitt and Gladstone. 
Both entered the House of Commons as pj^st Rungs of 
representatives of pocket boroughs — Pitt as t^e Ladder, 
member for Appleby, on the nomination of Sir James 
Lowther ; Gladstone as member for Newark by favour of 
the Duke of Newcastle. Very early in their career each was 
offered office. Mr. Gladstone promptly accepted the Junior 
Lordship of the Treasury, the customary bottom step of the 
ladder, when in 1834 it was offered him by Sir Robert 
Peel. Rockingham, forming a Ministry in succession to Lord 
North, tempted Pitt with something better than that. The 
young man coolly thrust the prize aside, with the intimation 
that he was " resolved not to take a subordinate office." 
The next offer made to him, he being in his twenty-third 
year, was the Chancellorship of the Exchequer, with the 
Leadership of the House of Commons. 

The nearest parallel in modern times to this leap of 
a private member into Ministerial office of Cabinet rank is 

2 c 



386 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

Mr. Asquith's appointment to the Home Office. But Mr. 




MR. ASQUITH JUMPS INTO THE CABINET. 

Asquith was in his fortieth year, and had been six years in 
the House of Commons before he made this great stride. 

A member of the French Chamber of Deputies who 

visited the House of Commons the other day tells me some 

^^ ^ 1. interesting things about the former. The British 

The French =» ° 

House of Constitution is, among other things, buttressed 
ommons. ^^^q^^ j^y |-j^g engagement of a rat-catcher, who 

cares for Buckingham Palace. His salary is duly set forth 
in the Civil Service Estimates, is year after year solemnly 
voted by the House of Commons, and is included in the 
gigantic amounts set forth in the Appropriation Bill. In 
France there is also a rat-catcher in the employment and 
pay of the State. But he is directly engaged in the service 
of the Chamber of Deputies. His salary is a trifle over 
£2^ a year, which compares favourably with that drawn 
quarterly by the rat-catcher of Buckingham Palace. 

Another of the resources of civilisation the Chamber of 
Deputies benefits by which finds no parallel in the House of 
Commons is an umbrella-mender. French legislators finding 
their umbrellas worn out or damaged by accident may take 
them to a particular room in the Chamber and have them 



I900 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 387 

repaired gratuitously. This institution dates back to the 
time of Louis Philippe. That amiable and apprehensive 
monarch never, even in settled summer weather, went out 
without an umbrella. He set the fashion of discarding 
walking-sticks and holding fast to the umbrella. This 
naturally led to increased mortality in the umbrella-stand, and 
members of Parliament, properly thinking that observance 
of a loyal custom should not incur personal charges, brought 
in the umbrella-mender, and paid him out of taxes. 

In the administration of affairs he is now the last link 
left with the ancien regi?ne. Kings have gone. Emperors 
and Empresses have been cJiasscs. The Tuileries is a ruin ; 
the umbrella-mender, a legacy of the time of Louis Philippe, 
remains. 

The annual vote for the current expenses of the French 
Chamber is about ^^300,000. This compares with charges on 
the Civil Service Estimates on account of the j|,g ^ost of the 
House of Commons of ;^i 50,000. Probably, on chamber, 
the principle which forbids a bird to foul its own nest, the 
votes on account of the Chamber are usually passed without 
discussion. But my French friend remembers a variation 
from the rule. A keen-scented deputy noticed that not only 
was the charge for scented soap advancing by leaps and 
bounds, but that the bill for eau-de-Cologne had in a particular 
Session beaten the record. The influence of temporising 
friends induced this French Peter Rylands to refrain from 
opening the question of scented soap. But he was firm 
about eau-de-Cologne. He moved an amendment reducing 
the amount of the vote by thirty centimes. That was not 
much ; but the moral rebuke was effective. The expenditure 
on eau-de-Cologne, a few years ago recklessly rising, forth- 
with stopped. It is now over ;!^50 a year, but sturdy Re- 
publicans do not regard the amount as excessive. 

Printing costs the French Chamber about ;^2 0,000 a 
year. The Library, a favourite lounge, spends nearly 
;{^iooo a year on new books. It was upon a recent occasion 
stated, without contradiction, that the money is chiefly 
expended on works of fiction. 



CHAPTER XXXII 



NOVEMBER 



Did the late Lord Chief-Justice (Lord Russell of Killovven) 
pass any early portion of his journalistic career in the Press 
Russell of Gallery of the House of Commons ? No men- 
Kiiiowen. tion of the circumstance is made in accessible 
biographical notes. I have reason to believe that the answer 
to the question is in the affirmative. Talking one day of his 

Parliamentary ex- 
perience Lord 
Russell dropped the 
remark that his first 
acquaintance with 
the House of Com- 
mons was made from 
the Press Gallery. 
I asked when it 
happened, but he 
evidently did not 
desire to pursue a 
subject he had acci- 
dentally alluded to, 

SIR CHARLES RUSSELL, AFTERWARDS LORD RUSSELL aud talked of SOmC- 
OFKILLOWEN. ^^. ^^^^ ^^^ 

From a Sketch in the House of Commons. r^ ■,■, /■ i 

Press Gallery of the 
House of Commons is one of the most exclusive places in 
the world. It is easier for a camel to pass through a needle's 

388 




1900 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 389 

eye than for a man not duly authorised as a working journalist 
to cross its trebly-guarded portals. Since Russell was there 
he must have gone either to report speeches or to write 
leading articles. 

One of Lord Russell's most distinguished contemporaries 
at the Bar certainly gained his earliest personal knowledge 
of the House of Commons as viewed from the Press Gallery. 
Forty years ago Sir Edward Clarke was on the regular 
reporting staff of the Standard, possibly not dreaming that 
in days to come he would give his successors in the old 
box many an hour's work reporting his Parliamentary 
speeches. 

The great advocate and judge who in August last 
suddenly passed away, followed by a rare burst of national 
lamentation, was a striking example of the Lawyers in 
familiar Parliamentary truism that a successful ^'^^ House. 
lawyer is not necessarily, is indeed rarely, a power in Parlia- 
mentary debate. When twenty years ago Charles Russell 
in the prime of vigorous life, with high reputation as leader 
of the Northern Circuit, took his seat for Dundalk, if anyone 
had been asked what his chances were of making a position 
in the House of Commons the answer would have been that 
they were assured. So it proved : Russell, from the position 
of private member, rising through the Attorney-Generalship 
to the highest seat on the judicial Bench. But the prize was 
won by sheer force of personal character, not by oratorical 
art or debating facility. 

Yet Russell was equipped by Nature with all the gifts 
that ordinarily go to make Parliamentary reputation. A 
great lawyer, he was not tied and bound by the manner or 
tradition of the Courts. In addition to a piercing intellect, 
long training, a ready wit and gift of speech that occasionally 
rose to height of genuine eloquence, he was a many-sided man 
of the world. He loved cards and horses, was a constant 
diner-out, was even frequently seen at the " at homes " which 
in some big houses follow upon little State dinners. His 
sympathies were essentially human. He resembled Mr. 
Gladstone in the quick interest he took in any topic started 



390 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1900 



Mrs. Maybrlck. 



in conversation. In short, he seemed to be just the man 
who would captivate and command the House of Commons. 
Yet, with one exception, I do not remember his ever attaining 
a position to reach which was a desire perhaps more warmly 
cherished than that of presiding over the Queen's Bench 
Division. The exception was the delivery of a speech in 
support of the second reading of Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule 
Bill. 

The most remarkable episode in Charles Russell's career 
at the Bar undoubtedly was his defence of Mrs. Maybrick. 
I happened to find myself in the same hotel with 
him at Liverpool on the morning of the day set 
down for the opening of the trial. At breakfast he spoke in 
confident terms of his client's innocence and of the certainty of 
her acquittal. He did not take into account the passing 
mood of the judge who tried the case, and so found himself 
out of his reckoning. But the verdict of the jury, still less 
the summing-up of Fitzjames Stephen, did not shake his 
conviction that, whatever other sins might lie to her charge, 

the unhappy woman was guiltless of 
murder. 

It was chiefly respect for the con- 
clusion formed by this judicial mind, 
illumined by the keenest intellect, that 
led two successive Home Secretaries on 
accession to office to devote days and 
nights to patient reconsideration of the 
evidence. Lord Llandaff told me that 
when the matter came before him as 
Home Secretary he approached it with 
an absolutely impartial mind, biased 
only by natural desire to find a loop- 
hole through which the hapless woman 
might crawl back to liberty. He read 
and weighed every scrap of evidence, 
shutting himself up with the papers for 
three days. At the end of that time 
he, slowly but surely drifting, was landed in unshakable 




MR. MATTHEWS, NOW LORD 
LLANDAFF. 



I900 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 391 

conviction of Mrs. Maybrick's guilt. When Sir Matthew 
White Ridley went to the Home Office he, in the same 
impartial frame of mind, moved by the same impulse 
towards mercy, arrived at the same conclusion. 

It is impossible to conceive two men more widely differing 
in constitution and training than the Home Secretary who 
was best known as Henry Matthews and the present incum- 
bent of the office. Sir Matthew Ridley. Yet, travelling by 
varying ways, they arrived at the same conclusion. On 
the other hand, Charles Russell, of all men least likely to be 
misled by appearances or deliberate deception, having probed 
the case to the bottom, having turned his piercing eyes on the 
frail creature in the dock, having talked to her in private 
and studied her in public, was convinced of her innocence. 
He was not the kind of man to abandon man or woman 
because the universe had deserted them. He paid Mrs. 
Maybrick regular visits in her prison-house, a custom not 
intermitted when he put on the ermine and the dignity of 
Lord Chief-Justice of England. 

Lord Mostyn is the proud possessor of the earliest, most 
comprehensive, and on the whole the most valuable collection 
of what in these days are widely popular in the 
provincial Press as London Letters. The ^century 
London Correspondent, as all who read his London 

... , , Correspondent. 

contributions suspect, was not born yesterday. 

The Letters bound in ten volumes that have an honoured 

place in the library at Mostyn Hall are dated from 1673 to 

1692. 

At that epoch, whilst as yet newspapers were few, the 
news-letter-writer was an important person. He attended 
the coffee-houses, where he picked up the gossip of the day. 
For Parliamentary news he suborned the clerks, who gave 
him an inkling of what happened in the House, sometimes 
even supplied him with extracts from its journal. This 
practice became so common that there will be found in the 
journals themselves an account of how certain coffee-house- 
keepers were summoned to the Bar of the House and 



392 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1900 



reprimanded for the heinous offence of adding to the attrac- 
tions of their parlour by publicly reading minutes of the 
proceedings. 

The more enterprising of these early fathers among 
London correspondents forestalled Baron Reuter. They 

had correspondents in some of the 
capitals of Europe who sent them 
scraps of gossip, which they embodied 
in their letters. Each letter- writer 
had his list of subscribers, who, I 
trust, made up a handsome aggregate 
of fee. Of the varied topics dealt 
with in the Mostyn news-letters it 
will suffice to cite notices of Titus 
Oates standing in the pillory of 
Tyburn ; of Nell Gwynne at the 
height of her fame ; of the execu- 
tion in Pall Mall of the murderers 
of Edward Thynne ; of the arrest of 
the Duke of Monmouth ; of the trial 
of the Seven Bishops ; of the birth 
of the Prince of Wales, son of 
James II. ; of the fee of 500 guineas 
paid to the fortunate midwife, one 
Mrs. Wilkins ; of King James's going, and of the Prince of 
Orange's coming. 

The stern forbidding of the Clerks of Parliaments to 
furnish to the outside world information of what took place 
A waggish within the barred doors of the House of Commons 
Speaker. ^[^ ^ot extend to members. Stored in ancient 
houses throughout the country are innumerable more or less 
graphic panels from pictures in Parliament. One, in the 
possession of Sir John Trelawney, recalls a curious scene in 
the House early in the Session of 1753. "Your countryman 
Sydenham, member for Exeter," writes a fellow-member, 
addressing his uncle in the country, " wanted a tax on 
swords and full-bottomed wigs, which last do not amount 
to forty in the kingdom. The Speaker and the Attorney- 




NELL GWYNNK. 



^ ^^ The elder Pitt. 



1900 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 393 

General, who were the only wearers of them in the House, 
made him due reverence." 

As the visitor to the Strangers' Gallery knows, the 
Speaker of the House of Commons to this day wears a full- 
bottomed wig. The Attorney-General long ago finally took 
off his. 

At Dunster Castle, in Somersetshire, there is a bundle of 
letters written 140 years ago by Henry Chiffner, M.P. for 
Minehead. He has long ago answered the 
cry, " Who goes home ? " and we may look in 
vain for Minehead in the list of Parliamentary boroughs. 
The letters remain, including one giving lengthy account of 
the opening of Parliament by the King, George IH., in the 
Session of 1762. In the same year, under date iith of 
December, the Parliamentary summary-writer gives an account 
of Pitt's speech in opposition to what is known in history as 
The Peace of Paris. " The speech," Mr. Chiffner reports, 
'■' occupied three hours and twenty-six minutes, and was the 
worst I ever heard." It certainly did not capture the House, 
for on a division, whilst 319 declared for peace, only sixty- 
five followed Pitt into the division lobby. 

The letter-writer mentions that " by leave of the House 
Pitt delivered this speech alternately standing and sitting." 
In later days, as all the world knows, Mr. Gladstone ^ jj^e hours' 
on one occasion occupied five hours in the speech, 
exposition of an historic Budget. It was his first Budget 
Speech, delivered on the 1 8th April 1853. The late Sir 
John Mowbray, one of the few members of the last Parliament 
who heard the speech, vividly recalled the occasion. He 
told me how surprised he was when it was over to find 
that five hours had sped. Mr. Gladstone, then in the prime 
of a magnificent physique, showed no sign of fatigue or of 
failing voice. It was long before the epoch of the pomatum- 
pot, and his sole refreshment was a tumbler of water. 

It was, of course, the elder Pitt who is described as 
having occasion from time to time to sit down during delivery 
of a three hours' speech. He was at the date only in his 
fifty-fourth year. Whence it would appear that he was either 



394 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1900 



Two Cornets. 




A Prehistoric 
' Dod." 



temporarily indisposed or constitutionally frail. Possibly he 
was recovering from an attack of his constant 
enemy, the gout. Not quite sixteen years later 
he — in the meantime having become Earl of Chatham — 
fell back in a faint whilst passionately addressing the House 
of Lords, was carried out, driven to his Kentish home, and 
a month later died. 

I have been looking up Minehead, the borough repre- 
sented a century and a half ago by Mr. Chiffner. I have 

the good fortune to find all 
about it in a precious little 
fat book presented to me some time 
ago by a kindly prejudiced reader, who 
came upon it on a top shelf of his 
grandfather's library, and thought it 
would be "just the thing I should like." 
His intuition was unerring. Biographical 
Memoirs of the Members of the Present 
House of Commons is the title of the 
work. Price, in boards, 1 2s. It is 
carefully compiled by Joshua Wilson, 
M.A., and is corrected to February 
1808. 

At that time George III. was King. 
In October of the following year he 
celebrated the jubilee of his accession. 
Pitt was two years later followed to the grave, after an 
interval of eight months, by his great adversary, Fox. The 
Duke of Portland was Prime Minister ; Lord Eldon sat on 
the Woolsack ; Spencer Perceval was Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, unconscious of the dark shadow that haunted 
and followed him in the lobby of the House of Commons ; 
Sir Arthur Wellesley was Irish Secretary, and — greatest of 
all in a mediocre Ministry — Canning was Foreign Secretary. 
The book is the precursor of the familiar " Dod " of the 
later half of the century, but is fuller of the charm of 
personal narrative than is permissible in the frigid pages of 
a work where the only glowing period flashes forth in the 



A PRECIOUS LITTLE FAT 
BOOK. 



igoo LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 395 

Autobiography of Sir Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, with its 
picturesque background of the Pilgrim Fathers. 

On page 454 we come upon Old Sarum, in the flesh as 
it were. To us of post-Reform days Old Sarum is a kind 
of myth. In this volume, with the dust of 

■' , Old Sarum. 

nearly a century on its brown paper boards and 
its uncut leaves, we find Old Sarum sedately flourishing as 
Manchester, Birmingham, or Glasgow loom large in " Dod " 
of to-day. To the imaginative mind the name suggests the 
idea of a prim old lady in grey silk, with mittens on her 
hands, her grey hair peeping from under a spotless white 
cap. That is only imagination. Even at the beginning of 
the century, when pocket boroughs were as common adjuncts 
of a landed estate as were pheasant coverts, they were 
" saying things " about Old Sarum. " The right of election 
in Old Sarum," Mr. Joshua Wilson, M.A., delicately remarks, 
" is in the freeholders, being burgage-holders of the borough, 
which, on account of its decayed state, has been occasionally 
a subject of animadversion." Animadversion ! Word more 
blessed than Mesopotamia. 

In dealing with the constituencies the compiler of the 
Memoirs is accustomed to set forth the total number of 
electors, and marvellous they are. Thus, on the page pre- 
ceding the record of Old Sarum stands Okehampton, 
Devonshire, with 240 electors. On the page following it 
is Orford, in Suffolk, which returned two members to 
Parliament by the favour of exactly twenty portsmen, 
burgesses, and freemen. When Mr. Joshua Wilson, M.A., 
comes to Old Sarum he is suspiciously silent as to the 
number of free and independent electors on the register. 
The sole machinery of election to the two seats representing 
Old Sarum appears to be the returning officer, a bailiff 
appointed at the Court-leet of Lord Caledon, who is now 
Lord of the Manor. 

In 1808 Old Sarum had for one of its members Nicholas 
Vansittart, Chancellor of the Exchequer in Lord Liverpool's 
Ministry, formed four years later. About this gentleman's 
family Mr. Joshua Wilson, M.A., relates an anecdote com- 



396 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1900 

municated to him by " a person of condition." Mr. Vansit- 

Astor for the ^^'^^'^ father vvas in the service of the East India 

Psychical Company. He vvas sent out with two others on 

°"^ ^' an important mission. The ship is supposed 
to have foundered at sea. Howbeit, after leaving the 
English Channel she was heard of never more. One night 
Mrs. Vansittart dreamt that her husband appeared to her, 
sitting naked on a barren rock. He told her that whatever 
rumours she might hear of his death she was to pay no 
attention to them. 

His situation, as described, does not appear to have been 
altogether comfortable or conformable with usage. But, 
though naked and homeless, save for the barren rock, he 
was certainly alive. When, in due time, announcement was 
made of the foundering of the East Indiaman, and the loss 
of all on board, Mrs. Vansittart stoutly declined to believe 
it. As Mr. Wilson puts it, " the lady was so deeply affected 
with what had occurred, and so prepossessed with the 
authenticity of the supposed communication, that she refused 
to put on mourning for the space of two whole years." She 
lived to an advanced age, with a suit of clothes always 
ready for the return of the unclad husband. They were 
never claimed. 

An awkward accident befell a well-known member of 

the House of Commons in the closing days of the Session. 

In the wrong ^ friend having anticipated the holidays and 

Box. gone on a long journey, wrote to ask if he 
would be so good as to rummage through his locker in the 
corridor leading to the Library, tear up and clear away his 
papers. " We shall have a General Election in October," 
he wrote ; " and as I don't mean to stand again you can 
make a clean sweep of my papers. There is nothing of any 
importance there, but it's just as well not to have them lying 
about." 

Thus adjured, the hon. member went to work with a 
will. He was much surprised on glancing at the books and 
papers as he tore them up to find how almost exclusively 



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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



397 



they related to military matters. One set in particular 
contained what looked like an elaborate estimate of the 
value of cordite pro- 
duced under divers 
conditions. The 

absent member had 
never shown himself 
interested in military 
affairs. When he had 
spoken upon them in 
Committee he had ever 
deprecated growing 
expenditure on the 
Army. However, 

every man knows his 
own business best. 
The M.P.'s instructions 
were to clear out the 
locker, and this was 
done effectively. 

Two hours later 

FANCY PORTRAIT OF THE COLONEL EXPLODING. 

one of the messengers, 

pale to the lips, trembling as though a thunderbolt had 
narrowly missed him in its flight, came up and said, " I 
beg your pardon, sir, but have you been clearing out 
Colonel Blank's locker ? " 

He had. Muddling up numbers, he had gone to the 
wrong locker, and destroyed the accumulated notes a high 
military authority had made through the Session. Colonel 
Blank being a particularly irascible gentleman, and the 
prorogation being certain to take place on the following 
Wednesday, the M.P. thought he might as well leave town 
at once. This he did, gaining five clear days' holiday. 







SESSION 1901 
CHAPTER XXXIII 

FEBRUARY 

Talking about the literary composition of the Queen's 

Speech on the opening and the closing of a Parliamentary 

The Queen's Scssion, One who has occasionally had something 

Prayers for to do with its production tclls me a curious 

thing. The successive paragraphs of the Speeches 

naturally vary in topic with the events of the day. But 

whatever happens the Speech must, or ought to, close with a 

brief prayer. It is a point of honour with the Minister 

drafting the document that this petition, always the same 

in purpose, shall never be identical in phrase. Curious to 

see how this worked out, I have looked up the Speeches 

from the Throne delivered through the life of the last 

Parliament, and find the tradition, with rare exceptions, 

carefully observed. 

The prayer was omitted in the Queen's Speech last 
Session. This is not the first case of the kind. In the 
Queen's Speech delivered under the guidance of the third 
Salisbury Administration the accustomed concluding prayer 
was forgotten. The Speech abruptly closed with suggestion 
that consideration of legislative measures, except those 
necessary to provide for the administrative charges of the 
year, should be deferred to another Session. 

When that arrived Ministers came to the front with a 

398 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 399 

Speech of terrible length, concluding, " I commend these 
weighty matters to your experienced judgment, and pray 
that your labours may be blessed by the guidance and 
favour of Almighty God." On the prorogation in the same 
Session Her Majesty is made to say : " In bidding you 
farewell I pray that the blessing of Providence may rest 
upon all your labours." The Speech on the opening of 
Parliament in January 1897 was again very long, leaving 
room only for the somewhat brusque remark, " I heartily 
commend your important deliberations to the guidance of 
Almighty God." At the close of the Session, which counted 
among its accomplished works the dole to denominational 
schools, the Queen prays that " the fruit of your labours may 
be assured by the protection and blessing of Almighty God." 

The next Session opens with the prayer, " I heartily 
commend your momentous deliberations to the care and 
guidance of Almighty God." " I pray that the blessing of 
Almighty God may attend you " is the Queenly benediction 
at the close of the Session. In February 1899, the Queen, 
addressing my lords and gentlemen, prays " that Almighty God 
may have you in His keeping and guide your deliberations 
for the good of my people." At the end of the Session — the 
principal fruit whereof was the Clergy Relief Bill — prayer 
is offered " that the blessing of Almighty God may attend 
upon the fruit of your labours for the benefit of my people." 

The brief War Session of 1899 was opened with the 
prayer that " in performing the duties which claim your 
attention you may have the guidance and blessing of 
Almighty God." At the prorogation the war in South 
Africa gave a special turn to the phraseology. " I trust," 
the Queen is represented as saying, "that the Divine blessing 
may rest upon your efforts and those of my gallant Army 
to restore peace and good government to that portion of my 
Empire, and to vindicate the honour of this country." At 
the beginning of last Session the Queen, addressing both 
Houses of Parliament, " commended their deliberations in 
this anxious time to the blessing and guidance of Almighty 
God." Her Majesty's last words to the fourteenth Parlia- 



400 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1901 



ment of her reign prayed " that Almighty God may have 
you in His keeping, and that His blessing may be with you." 
It will be seen from this unresponsive litany that though 
it is mainly compiled from a narrow circle of words, their 
arrangement is always studiously varied. 

When Mr. Arthur Balfour writes his letters to the Queen, 

giving a summary of proceedings at the current sitting of 

the House of Commons, he observes a formula 

^^ ^"*' of address consecrated by long usage. " Mr. 

Balfour," so the missive runs, " presents his humble duty to 

the Queen, and informs Her 
-." Here follows 




Majesty 

the narrative, which it is 
hoped the Leader of the 
House, in the dull times 
that prevailed at West- 
minster during the last five 
years, managed to make 
more sparkling than was 
possible to other Parlia- 
mentary summary - writers. 
This quaint form of address 
finds its parallel in the 
business or social com- 
munications of the Queen's 
entourage. In humbler 
domestic circles the old-fashioned word " Ma'am " is rarely 
heard. Servants and shopkeepers when they have occasion 
to approach its use go back to the more formal original. 
It is, "Yes, madam," or "No, madam." The Queen is 
still " Ma'am." 

Lord Salisbury has good reason to know that in the 

spacious times of Queen Elizabeth the form of 

EiJzShand epistolary communication between her Ministers 

Sir Robert and Her Majesty was less formal than that in 

vogue with the Parliamentary letter-writer from 

the Treasury Bench to-day. The Premier is heritor of the 



MASTER ARTHUR WRITING A LETTER 
TO THE QUEEN. 



igoi 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



401 



correspondence of his great ancestor and namesake, Sir Robert 
Cecil. In the spring of 1598 Sir Robert was dispatched to 
the King of France on a diplomatic mission. Writing to Queen 
Elizabeth under date 5 th April of that year, he addresses her 
directly as " Most Gracious Sovereign," and throughout as 
" Your Majesty." In reporting his audience with the King — 
whom, by the way, " about three of the clock on Tuesday " the 
English Ambassador found in bed — the astute Cecil turns a 




LORD SALISBURY AND HENRY IV. OF FRANCE. 

pretty compliment. " We have," he writes, " thought it good 
to set down precisely the same language which I, the 
secretary, used, for we know your Majesty to be in all 
languages one of the inieidx disans of Europe, and most 
justly think that your Majesty had cause to be very jealous 
whether your meaning had been delivered in the French to 
the same sense which our English repetition should now 
express." 

Here follows, in French of the sixteenth century, what 
Sir Robert said to the King, sitting down by his bedside, 

2 D 



402 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1901 

" where we warmed him so well as, whether it was his physic 
or our message, Monsieur le Grand was fain to fetch drink 
for him." 

There is in this letter delightful disclosure of the ways of 
the old diplomacy. Reporting the reading of what purported 
The old ^o b^ ^^^ *^^^ ^^ ^" important secret document, 
Diplomacy. Sir Robert says : " First we left out any of those 
articles which showed the King of Spain's readiness to yield 
him (the King of France) all his desires, because that would 
have made him proud and to raise himself towards us. For 
though we think he knows too well what he shall have of 
Spain, yet we would not have him think that we know it 
out of the Spaniard's mouth. Secondly we left out anything 
to him that might show to him that the Spaniards meant to 
offer any injurious conditions to England, for then he would 
also have thought your Majesty's state the more irreconcilable, 
and therefore only acquainted him with the reports of 
Villeroie's speeches, of the Legate's speeches, of Belliurs his 
speeches, and other things which we have further set down 
in the enclosed." 

Here is a picture for a painter in search of an historical 
subject. Henri Quatre, in bed at three o'clock on an April 
afternoon, alternating between the refreshment of medicine 
and strong drink ; seated by his side the crafty English 
emissary, with innocent air, reading a carefully- trimmed 
document. 

But if the English diplomatist had his secrets the French 
King had his. The letter, now carefully treasured at Hat- 
field, is dated 5th April 1598. Eight days later Henri 
Quatre promulgated the Edict of Nantes, with far-reaching 
consequences not only for the history of France but for the 
trade and commerce of England. 

A notable thing in the candidature for election to 

the new Parliament was the rush of novelists into this new 

A new Field of ^^^'^ of fiction. One remembers at least three 

Fiction. — Conan Doyle, Anthony Hope, and Gilbert 

Parker. Mr. Barrie coquetted with a constituency, but came 



igoi 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



403 



to the conclusion that he would bide a wee. Of the three 
first named, only Mr. Gilbert Parker was successful in 
securing one of the Seats of the Mighty. Mr. Conan Doyle 
was badly beaten, while Mr. Anthony Hope, like his 
acquaintance Quisante, was, on the eve of the contest, 
attacked by illness. Unlike his hero, who struggled on and 
fell in the breach soon after it was won, Mr. Anthony Hope 
discreetly retired, regained his health, and lives to fight 
another day. 

Mr. Henry Norman does not rank as a romancist, 
though he has written The Real Japan. But he is a man 
of letters who by sheer 
ability has made his way to 
the front rank of journalism. 
He has the advantage, rare 
among our councillors at 
Westminster, of having 
studied foreign affairs. 
Western and Far Eastern, 
on the spot. 

Whether Parliament is 
the best place for men of 

letters is an in- 



Literary 

Men in 

Parliament. 



teresting 



ques- 
If con- 



tion. 
spicuous success in a new 
walk be counted as essential 
to the affirmative, the yea 
will be uttered with diffi- 
dence. It is not necessary 
to go back to the case of 
Bulwer Lytton, or the more 
painful one of John Stuart 
Mill, to support the asser- 
tion that there is something in the atmosphere of the House 
of Commons uncongenial to the ascendency of the literary 
man. 

One brilliant exception is found in the case of Lord 




" THE REAL JAPAN " — MR. HKKRY NORMAN. 



404 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1901 

Rosebery, who is equally in command of himself and the 
situation whether writing books in his library or making 
speeches in the House of Lords and on the public platform. 
But there is no other. Mr. John Morley will be known to 
fame as a literary man, not as a member of the House of 
Commons. If any man might be counted upon in advance 
to command the attention of the House of Commons it was 
Mr. Justin M'Carthy. A man of wide reading, retentive 
memory, varied knowledge of the world, gifted with humour, 
a ready speaker, here seemed every quality to compel 
success. Yet the author of Dear Lady Disdain^ and a 
score of other popular novels, never reached that place in 
the House which his talents seemed to merit, and for which 
his friends confidently designated him. 

On the whole journalists do better in the House of 
Commons than do those ranking as men of letters. Mr. 
Courtney instructed the world through the leader columns 
of the Times before, encouraged by his success, he stepped 
on to the more prominent platform of the House of 
Commons to carry on his beneficent work. Mr. Labouchere 
is one of the most entertaining journalists of the age, not 
laying aside the pen even while he was steadily making his 
way to a position of influence in the House of Commons. 
If Mr. T. P. O'Connor had given himself up entirely to 
Parliamentary work he would have taken high rank as a 
debater. But the House of Commons will have nothing to 
do with men who give it only the odds and ends of their 
time. After living laborious days in discharge of his 
journalistic work Mr. O'Connor sometimes scorns delights, 
and remains in his place long enough to catch the Speaker's 
eye. Even with this desultory habit he commands an 
audience for a vigorous speech. The general result is, 
however, confirmatory of the axiom that no man can serve 
two masters. 

Mr. Gibson Bowles, perceiving this fundamental truth, 
has renounced journalism, in which profession he first made 
his mark, has given himself up entirely to the House of 
Commons, and has made his way accordingly. It must not 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 405 

be forgotten that another member of Parliament, of almost 
equal knowledge of public affairs, followed the same course. 
Whilst the Marquis of Salisbury- 
was still Lord Robert Cecil, he 
was a regular, even a struggling, 
journalist. His political career 
opening out, he gave up leader- 
writing, and devoted himself to 
the House of Commons. The 
advantage of his early training 
is felt and witnessed to this day 
in the exquisite perfection of 
the turn of his spoken sentences. 
The Premier is one of the very 
few of our public men whose 
political speeches have a subtle, 
indescribable, but unmistakable, 
literary flavour. 

The new Parliament shows 

a considerable advance in the 

number of members 

The Press. 

who m one way or 
the other are connected with 
the Press. Survivors of the 
last Parliament are Mr. Arthur lord robert cecil as a struggling 

JOURNALIST. 

Eliott, whose seat was saved 

from contest by the chance appearance in the Quarterly 
he edits of an article on the war ; Sir John Leng, proprietor 
of the Dundee Advertiser^ who does not often trouble 
the House with a set speech, has a searching way of putting 
questions which effects more practical good throughout 
a Session than the average of long speeches ; Mr. Dalziel, 
who a dozen years ago entering the Lobby as a journalist, 
now sits for Kirkcaldy, holding it with increased majority, 
whilst all round him Liberals fell. His is another case 
of the not frequent incidence of equal facility with tongue 
and pen. He has the courage of his opinions, does not 
flinch from performance of what he regards as a public 




4o6 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1901 




duty, and in a pleasant voice that adds to the aggravation 
" says things " that sometimes shock the sensibiHties of the 
gentlemen of England seated opposite. 

When he first entered the House he was unconsciously 
and undesignedly the occasion for embarrassment in high 
places. North of the Tweed his surname is pronounced as 
if all the letters had fallen out of it except the first and the 
last. When Mr. Gully came to the Chair he scrupulously 
called on " Mr. D L," the letters pronounced full length. 
The puzzlement displayed on the countenances of mere 
Southerners at sound of this unfamiliar name was embarrass- 
ing. To the Speaker, as to other Eng- 
lishmen, the member for Kirkcaldy to- 
day is " Mr. D^Xzeir 

Other old members returned to the 
new Parliament are Mr. Scott, the editor 
of the Manchester Guardian, and Mr. 
Willox, proprietor of the Liverpool 
Courier. Among newcomers are Mr. 
Winston Churchill, who I venture to 
predict will make his mark in the House 
as he did in the armoured train ; Mr. 
Cust, a former editor of the Pall Mall 
Gazette; Sir George Newnes, and Mr. 
Leicester Harmsworth, one of a notable 
band of brothers. The total of news- 
paper proprietors and journalists in the 
present House of Commons is thirty- 
three. 

Many years ago Mr. Gladstone, 
talking about the constitution of the 
first House of Commons in Trade in 
which he sat, told me there Parliament. 
were in it not more than five members connected with trade 
and commerce. Things have in this matter considerably 
changed since that far-off day. Trade and commerce 
represent considerably more than half the muster of the 
fifteenth Parliament of the Oueen. There are, to blurt out 



SIR GEORGE NEWNES. 



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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



407 



what the member of Parliament of the mid-century would 
regard as an appalling fact, thirteen who rank as shop- 
keepers and traders. 

In this the first regular Session of the new Parliament 
the attendance in both Houses will be appreciably greater 
owing to the return of members who volunteered Home from 
for active service in South Africa. Whilst the the war. 
House of Commons contributed twenty-seven members, the 
House of Lords sent thirty-six, including the Field-Marshal 
Commanding-in-Chief, Lord Kitchener, and Lord Methuen. 
Of the peers the Marquis of Winchester and the Earl of 
Airlie were killed on the field of battle. Lord Folkestone, 
who went out as Major of the ist Wiltshire Volunteer Rifle 
Corps, comes back Earl of Radnor, his father, once a well- 
known figure in the House of Commons, dying during his 
absence. This event removes a promising figure from the 
Commons. In 
the one or two 
speeches he made 
since his return 
for the Wilton 
Division in i 892, 
Lord Folkestone 
displayed a lively 
talent, which it is 
to be feared will 
be lost in the 
more languorous 
atmosphere of the 
House of Lords. 
He commenced 
his training for 
Parliamentary 
work by acting as 
assistant private 

secretary to Mr. Chaplin at the Board of Agriculture. Had 
it been possible for him to return to the new House of 




ON A BACK BENCH — MR. CHAPLIN. 



4o8 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1901 

Commons he might have renewed his intimacy with his old 
chief on a back bench above the gangway. 

Other members who return to the familiar scene under 
altered circumstances are Lord Cranborne, who takes his 
seat on the Treasury Bench as Under Secretary for Foreign 
Affairs, and Lord Stanley, who has been promoted from the 
Whips' Room to the important post of Financial Secretary 
to the War Office. 

In the last Parliament Lord Stanley acted as Chairman 
of the Kitchen Committee, gallantly bearing the brunt of 
Sir Wilfrid Lawson's frontal attacks in the matter of the 
illegal sale of liquor at the Lobby bars. Lord Cranborne's 
migration from below the gangway will leave his brother 
Lord Hugh Cecil in the position of principal defender of the 
faith as enshrined in the Established Church. 

It is to be hoped that whilst the new Parliament is fresh 

and vigorous it will see to the removal of the ridiculous 

Westminster regulations that bar the public out of their 

Hall. heritage, Westminster Hall. At the time of 
the Fenian scare, when outrages were perpetrated at the 
Home Office, the Times office, and elsewhere, precautions 
were wisely taken to safeguard this unique monument of 
early English history. The public were rigidly excluded, 
and since that time Westminster Hall has remained a 
wilderness, untrodden, save by the foot of officials, and of 
members electing to choose that approach to the House. 

The Hall was built with special view to having its flags 
trodden by a multitude. In modern times it never looked 
so well as at the period when the Law Courts were still an 
adjunct of the Palace of Westminster, and at the luncheon 
hour the crowd of barristers, clients, witnesses, and spectators 
poured out from the Courts to pace up and down the splendid 
thoroughfare. There was a later time when from earliest 
dawn till the eventide on a succession of May days the 
people crowded in with reverent steps, approached and 
passed the bier on which rested the coffin in which Mr. 
Gladstone slept, full of rest from head to foot. 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 409 

To-day, with a solitary policeman on guard by the 
members' entrance, the Hall looks like a great gloomy v^ault. 

It will be remembered that when a few years ago the 
King of Siam paid us a visit he displayed curiosity far 
exceeding the habit of George III. He did not, Memorial 
so far as was known, come across an apple-dump- Brasses, 
ling. If he had he would not have sought his couch till he 
had mastered the mystery how the apple got in. On the 
night he visited the Houses of Parliament he passed out by 
St. Stephen's Chapel and Westminster Hall. Thanks to 
the reverential care of Sir Reginald Palgrave, long time Clerk 
of the House of Commons, the pavement is studded with 
small brasses, marking the precise spot where King Charles's 
chair was placed when he sat for his trial, where Perceval 
fell shot by Bellingham, and where other historical events in 
the history of Parliament took place. His Majesty of Siam, 
spotting the brass plates, ran about from one to the other 
wanting to know all about them. 

There is obvious opportunity for extension of Sir 
Reginald Palgrave's pious purpose. When Mr. Gladstone's 
coffin was carried through a mourning nation from his 
hushed home at Hawarden to the scene of his more than 
sixty years' service to the State, it was set down on the flags 
of Westminster Hall, just opposite the door opening on the 
stairway that gives access to the House of Commons. Here 
it rested whilst the innumerable procession passed by to take 
a farewell look, and thence it was carried — political foeman 
and friend bearing the pall — on its way to Westminster 
Abbey. Surely the spot is worth marking among the 
rest. 



CHAPTER XXXIV 

APRIL 

Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman is not an emotionable 
man. It is consequently difficult to determine whether in 
Lords and Criticising the Queen's Speech in the December 
Commons. Scssion he was more moved by omission of the 
prayer with which such document customarily closes, or by 
the absence of direct address to the House of Commons 
when mention was made of intention to ask for further 
moneys to carry on the war. The Queen's Speech usually 
opens with address to " My Lords and Gentlemen " of both 
Houses. Midway comes a brief paragraph specially directed 
to " Gentlemen of the House of Commons," in which the 
question of money is delicately broached. That is formal 
acknowledgment of the constitutional fact that the Commons 
are exclusive guardians of the public purse. In all ordinary 
legislation, Lords and Commons work on a level footing. 
One may alter or throw out a Bill originating in the other 
House. But the Budget Bill, involving national expenditure, 
may not be meddled with by the House of Lords. 

There has grown up a curious custom illustrating this 
distinction and testifying to the secret desire of the peers to 
trespass as far as is safe upon forbidden ground. Dealing in 
Committee with a measure involving rating — say, an 
Education Bill — any peer may, if he pleases, propose an 
amendment to the Bill as it left the Commons. Also the 
House may, if the majority see fit, adopt the suggestion. 

410 



I90I 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



411 



But when after third reading the Bill goes back to the 
Commons any amendment touching money matters is 
printed in red ink, indicating that it is merely suggestive in 
character. If the Commons do not accept it, it is struck out, 
and there an end of the matter. 

In the case of ordinary Bills issuing from the Commons 
and amended in the Lords, they must go back to the Lords 




IN THE lions' den. 

for consideration of the action of the Commons should the 
latter decline to agree to the amendments. This necessity 
does not exist in cases where the Lords' amendments affect 
the expenditure of money. 

The new Parliament, as far as it has gone, has not 
developed anything in the nature of an epoch-making party 
on the model of that Lord Randolph Churchill ^^^ Fourth 
led twenty years ago. Mr. Labouchere and Sir Party and 
Charles Dilke occupy the old quarters of the ^^^'' 
Fourth Party, and alternately lead Mr. M'Kenna. But the 
combination is not marked by any of that discipline and 
system that made the Fourth Party a power. 

There was a time when the Welsh members showed a 
disposition to organise a Parliamentary guerilla force. They 
had the making of excellent leaders in Mr, Lloyd George 



41 2 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1 901 



and Mr. Samuel Evans. As long as their own political 
friends were in power they showed themselves industrious 
and vigorous. They had a good deal to do with making 
Lord Rosebery's Government so uncomfortable that its 
members rather welcomed than resented dismissal on a side 
issue. The incentive of opposing his titular leader, dear to 
the heart of a good Liberal, being withdrawn, the Welsh 
party fell to pieces and has not been reconstituted. 

The nearest resemblance to the Fourth Party established 

since its dissolution was that formed in the Parliament of 

1892-95 by Mr. Gibson Bowles, Mr. Hanbury, 

^ca^seT/' and Mr. Bartley. They followed closely the 

Air. Gibson tactics of their prototype. Ever hanging on the 

Bowles. 

flanks of the enemy, ready to take advantage of 
any opening of attack, they invested their procedure with 




THE RAIDERS — MESSRS. BOWLES, HANBURY, AND BARTLEY. 

attractive variety by sometimes flaunting their pastors and 
masters on the Front Opposition Bench. They appreciably 
contributed to the patriotic design of making office untenable 
by a Liberal Ministry. When that object was secured, they 
had a right to expect to share the spoils of victory. A 
bone was thrown to them. Mr. Hanbury was made Financial 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 413 

Secretary to the Treasury. But Mr. Bowles, the most 
brilliant of the trio, whose business training would have been 
useful in any Under-Secretaryship, was, in company with 
Mr. Bartley, left out in the cold. 

Contrast with the good fortune of some men, whom 
extreme modesty could not prevent them from recognising 
as inferior in capacity, made the disappointment more bitter. 
When, last autumn, the Ministry was reconstructed after the 
General Election opportunity offered for redressing this 
wrong. Lord Salisbury neglected to seize it. It is true 
that Mr. Hanbury, admitted within the Ministerial circle, was 
advanced to Cabinet rank, having committed to his charge 
the only department of State of whose business he knew 
nothing. Mr. Bartley was offered a knighthood and a 
salaried post, acceptance of which would have necessitated his 
withdrawal from the Parliamentary scene, and was, therefore, 
declined. If any overtures were made to Mr. Bowles he, 
amid a flux of confidence on the topic, preserved rare reticence. 

A story current at the Carlton Club, probably wholly 
imaginative, alleges addition of insult to injury. When a 
vacancy in the Secretaryship of the Admiralty was created 
by the supersession of Mr. Macartney, Mr. Bowles (so the 
story runs) wrote to the Prime Minister pointing out the 
necessity in the national interests of appointing to the office 
a man who had practical knowledge of seafaring matters and 
well-defined ideas on the subject of Navy reform. In due 
course he received the following reply : — 

Dear Mr. Bowles — I agree entirely with what you say as to 
the qualifications of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty, 
and I have appointed Arnold Forster to the post. 



Last year I ventured to suggest that the Terrace of the 
House of Commons might through the summer months 
contribute a desirable flash of colour to the river- jrees on 
side by having its long length varied by tubs or «he Terrace, 
pots of flowering shrubs, after the fashion common enough 
on the terraces of country houses. The idea rather took on 



414 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1901 



in the House of Commons. But Sir W. Thistleton-Dyer, 
Director of Kew Gardens, being privately consulted, was 
rather deterrent. He tells me, what most others have 
forgotten, that many years ago attempt was made to 
decorate the Terrace with bays in tubs. After the first 
Session the trees went to Hyde Park and the tubs to Kew 
Gardens and never returned. The place was found to be 
too exposed and wind-swept. But Sir William admits that 
tubs of flowering shrubs might be set out temporarily, though 
— and here is where his difficulty comes in — he surmises 
that they would have to be carried through the building. 

That is a misapprehension. There is direct approach to 
the Terrace from Palace Yard. Nothing would be easier 
than to convey the shrubs to the Terrace, removing them at 
the end of the Session. The Bailiff of the Parks, who looks 

after the flower-beds in Parliament Square, 
could, on receiving the necessary authority, 
speedily effect the desirable transformation 
scene. 

For those not personally concerned 
there is something pleasing in contempla- 
tion of the fact that the First 
Minister of the Crown, the 
principal agent in the Government of the 
richest Empire in the world, draws a 
salary of only ;^2000 a year, less Income- 
tax severely deducted from quarterly pay- 
ments. This is a fee the manager of a 
minor railway company would scorn. It 
is allotted to secretaries of prosperous 
commercial companies. It is frequently 
made in a day by operators on the Stock 
Exchange. Lord Salisbury accepts it with 
the measure of gratitude dictated by the 
fact that it is secured to him only by 
As Prime Minister no salary is provided. 
Lord Cross, having obligingly retired from the office of Lord 
Privy Seal, the Premier succeeds him. 




A penniless 
Premier. 



GOT NO WORK TO DO 
— VISCOUNT CROSS. 



happy accident. 



igoi 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 415 



Some years ago, it being noted that the Lord Privy 
Seal had absolutely no work to do, the salary was, by rare 
application of logical principle, abolished. It has now been 
revived in favour of the Prime Minister, otherwise unprovided 
for. 

Lord Hardwicke, challenged last Session with retaining 
his connection with a stockbroking firm whilst he acted as 
Under Secretary for India, frankly explained the a poorly paid 
reason why. He could not afford permanently Profession, 
to abandon his position in the City for the price of being a 
few years in office as one of Her Majesty's Ministers. 

That is a bluff, businesslike view of the situation. Re- 
garded merely as a means of livelihood the profession of a 
Minister of the Crown is the most poorly paid open to men of 
capacity. Mr. Chamberlain is, perhaps, the most striking 
example of rapid advancement to Ministerial position. He 
became President of the Board of Trade within four years of 
taking his seat in the House of Commons. He has during 
his twenty-four years of Parliamentary life held office for an 
aggregate of something over ten years. During that time 
he has drawn about i^3 7,000 in the form of salary, a sum 
which, had he devoted himself to commercial pursuits, he 
might have made in twelve months. Probably before he 
retired from business he achieved that record. 

Sir Michael Hicks-Beach is bracketed with Mr. Chamber- 
lain in the matter of brief apprenticeship before attaining the 
full honour of Ministerial position. He, too, sat on the 
Treasury Bench four years after he entered the House. Mr. 
Arthur Balfour and Mr. Ritchie each waited eleven years for 
promotion. Mr. Gerald Balfour was ten years a private 
member, and Mr. Hanbury sat on a back bench through 
twenty-three years. Parents considering " what they shall do 
with Charles " will do well, if their main desire be to have 
his merits adequately recognised in the way of pecuniary 
remuneration, to think twice before they devote him to a 
political career. 

Lord Salisbury, among other distinctions, has the largest 
family circle in the House of Commons. They muster five 



4i6 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 

all told. 



1901 



It is a quiet reproach to much murmuring at 
the General Election that at least two do not 

These are his younger 



Family Circles 

in the hold Ministerial ofifice 

son, Lord Hugh Cecil, and his nephew, Mr 



Evelyn Cecil. 




A FAMILY GROUP. 



A curious instance of the votes of two constituencies 
being nullified by distribution of their representation in a 

single family is supplied 
by the case of Reading 
and Salisbury. Mr. G. 
W. Palmer, the Liberal 
member for Reading, 
effaces on a division the 
vote of his brother, Mr. W. 
H. Palmer, the Conser- 
vative member for Salis- 
bury. The peculiarity of 
this case is increased by 
the fact that at the General 
Election each brother 
secured his seat by pre- 
cisely the same majority 

—239- 

Some years ago Sir 
William Harcourt had a brother on the Conservative side 
of the House of Commons. It was pretty to watch him, 




THE BROTHERS BALFOUR. 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 417 

with stolid face, listening to the brilliant harangues of his 
Radical brother. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman occupies 
at this day a position identical in this respect with that of 
his predecessor in the Leadership of the Opposition. On 
big divisions his vote is nullified by that of his brother, 
the Conservative member for Glasgow University. Sir 
James Ferguson has a brother in the House, the relation- 
ship being sometimes unsuspected, since his name is Sir 
Charles Dalrymple. These two vote in the same lobby 
as do the brothers Balfour, Lord Cranborne and Lord Hugh 
Cecil, Sir Howard Vincent and Sir Edgar, Sir E. Ashmead- 
Bartlett and Mr. Burdett-Coutts, and the frlres Redmond. 
Mr. Tim Healy is left to lament severance from brother 
Maurice, bereavement accomplished by the General Election. 



2 E 



CHAPTER XXXV 



MAY 



It is probable that when, next year, the King opens Parlia- 
ment in person, the scene will be moved to Westminster Hall. 

Members of the 



The Kin^ and 
House of Commons Parliament. 

who took part in the football 
scrimmage on Valentine's Day 
this year are not likely to 
invite further experience of 
the same kind. When the 
proposal of Westminster Hall 
as an alternative stage for the 
ceremony was suggested, Mr. 
Balfour, the charges of the 
war pressing hard upon him, 
demurred on the ground of cost. 
Gentlemen of the House ot 
Commons who vote public 
money will not grudge any- 
thing reasonable if it deliver 
them from the mingled indignity 
and damage attendant upon 
their share in the pageant of 
the new King opening his first 
Parliament in an infant century. 
His Majesty, who, like his Imperial nephew, has a keen 

418 




TO SEE THE KING IN HIS GOLDEN 
CROWN." 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 419 

eye for scenic effect, instantly approved the suggestion about 
Westminster Hall. It is certainly worth a modest expendi- 
ture to secure such effect as is here possible. Our fore- 
fathers, to the remotest verge of recorded history, used the 
stately building as the scene of historic gatherings. It is 
true they largely took the form of trials, ending in sentence 
of death. But that was part of the manners of the day. 

The Hall seems as if it had been specially built with a 
view to such a ceremony as the opening of Parliament. At 
the far end the floor is raised by several steps, forming a 
unique stage on which the King and Queen, being seated, 
command full view of the multitude in the body of the Hall, 
themselves conveniently seen from every corner of its vast 
area. The stage will be approached by the broad corridor 
and stairway leading from the Royal robing-rooms in the 
House of Lords.^ 

In some of the pictures published in the illustrated 
papers descriptive of the scene in the House of Lords when 
the King opened Parliament in person, the 
Serjeant-at-Arms is shown standing at the Bar 
near the Speaker with the Mace on his shoulder. This is 
an error, which recalls an ancient and interesting piece of 
etiquette. The Mace was not on view in the House of 
Lords on 14th February, for the sufficient reason that it was 
not carried within the portals. It is true the Deputy 
Serjeant-at-Arms escorting the Speaker (Mr. Erskine, in 
another honorary capacity, was in personal attendance on 
the King) bore it on his shoulder in advance of the surging 
mass of Commoners struggling to obey the command of the 
King to hear the Royal Speech read. Arrived at the door 
of the House of Lords the Mace was there deposited, and 
there remained till the returning procession re-formed. 

This procedure is in accordance with the regulation that 
the Mace is never carried into the presence of the Sovereign. 
At the Diamond Jubilee, when the Speaker and the House 

^ The project after consideration by a joint Committee was abandoned on the 
score of expense. 



420 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1 901 



of Commons proceeded to Buckingham Palace to offer their 
congratulations to Her Majesty the late Queen, the Mace 
accompanied the Speaker in his carriage. But it was left 




THE MACE ACCOMPANIED THE SPEAKER. 

there when the right hon. gentleman entered the Palace to 
make obeisance to Her Majesty. 

Talking about the letter to the late Queen nightly written 

from the House of Commons by the Leader, I quoted its 

The Letter to formula of addrcss as follows: "Mr. Balfour 

the Queen, presents his humble duty to the Queen and 

informs Her Majesty " A correspondent writes from 

Sussex : " In reading the lives of Prime Ministers I have 
often been struck with the singular departure from customary 
forms shown in the Ministers writing in the third person 
and putting the Sovereign in the second. For instance. 
Lord Palmerston, iith June 1859: 'Viscount Palmerston 
presents his humble duty to your Majesty and has the 
honour of assuring your Majesty,' etc. Again, Lord 
Russell, 9th June 1866 : ' Lord Russell presents his humble 
duty to your Majesty. He is,' etc. To take an earlier 
date, Earl Grey, 8th February 183 i : 'Earl Grey with his 
humble duty to your Majesty has in the first place again 
to entreat your Majesty,' etc. I have taken these instances 
quite at random from the first books I have put my hands 
on, but there are scores of others down to the end of Lord 
Russell's correspondence. It would be interesting to know 
if this rather odd formula had at last been altered." 



igoi 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



421 



The formula I cited as pertaining to Mr. Arthur 
Balfour's letter to the Queen was communicated to me as 
having been the usage of Mr. Gladstone, and I assumed it 
was common to all such letter-writers. It will be noted in 
the interesting compilation of my correspondent that the 
quaint phrase, "presents his humble duty," is used with 
whatever variety of the personal pronoun. 

The opening of the first Session of the premier Parlia- 
ment of a new century was fraught with much mental 
tribulation to Mr. Caldwell. To begin with, there under which 
was the title of the King. Edward VII. he ^ing? 
called himself, amid the acclaim of the people who had 
feared the apparition 
of Albert I. But Scot- 
land, to-day an integral 
part of Great Britain, 
knew no preceding 
King Edward, much 
less six. Whatever 
His Majesty might be 
south of the Tweed, he 
was Edward I. in Scot- 
land. Mr. Caldwell 
had compunctions 
about taking the Oath 
of Allegiance. He 
yielded with mental 
reservation he is pre- 
pared to set forth in 
detail at any time the 
House of Commons 
may have a couple of 
hours to spare. 

Another scarcely less serious difficulty almost simultane- 
ously presented itself. Were Scotch and Irish members 
secure in their seats in the Parliament elected last October ; 
or must they, within the limit of six months, again go to 




AN AMENDMENT BY MR. CALDVVELI- 



422 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1901 

their constituents ? On this point the law seemed lament- 
A nice Point ^^ly clcar. The Reform Act which Dizzy 
of Law. carried through the House of Commons in 1867 
provided that thereafter the dissolution of Parliament should 
not be made peremptory by the demise of the Crown. In 
the days of the Stuarts the death of the King (unless his 
head were cut off, when it did not matter) automatically 
dissolved Parliament. The inconvenience of this doubly- 
disturbing event being recognised, an Act was passed in the 
reign of William III. declaring that an interval of six months 
should follow between the death of the Sovereign and the 
dissolution of Parliament. A clause of the Act specifically 
enjoined that it should not extend to Scotland or Ireland. 

Mr. Caldwell, concentrating his powerful mind on the Act 
of 1867, was driven to the conclusion that the Act of 
William III. remains operative in cases of Scotland and 
Ireland, and that before July next Scotch and Irish members 
must seek re-election. 

The ingenuity of the Law Officers of the Crown, one 
himself a Scotch member, avoided catastrophe. Concurrently 
with the Reform Act of 1867 separate Bills were passed 
regulating the Scotch and Irish Franchise. The draughts- 
man of the main measure, having this exclusively in mind, 
added the clause limiting the Reform Act to England and 
Wales. The combined wisdom of the two Houses of 
Parliament — Mr. Caldwell had not at the time a seat in the 
House of Commons — overlooking this blunder, it was em- 
bodied in a Statute. The Law Officers ruled it was no bar 
to the existence of the full House elected in October 1900. 
But Mr. Caldwell is not wholly content. 

Parliament had escape from another dilemma more real 

and less widely observed. Whilst the law controlling the 

«,u .. . u* existence of Parliament sitting at the time of the 

What might ° 

have demise of the Crown is more or less clearly dealt 

appene . ^^jj-j^ ^y gtatutc, no provision is made to meet 

the quite possible case of the Sovereign dying during the 

process of a General Election. It is no secret that the 

state of the Queen's health in the autumn of last year gave 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 423 

rise to the gravest anxiety in high places. It is not a matter 
that can be openly stated by a Minister. But the fact is it 
had much to do with the decision Mr. Asquith denounced 
as "hustling the country into a General Election." The 
strong constitution of Queen Victoria enabled her to rally 
from the prostration in which the approach to winter 
plunged her. Had the end come in October whilst the 
elections were going forward it would have been necessary 
forthwith to summon the old Parliament, just as, at less than 
twenty-four hours' notice, Parliament was summoned in 
January immediately on the death of the Queen. 

There was, as usual, appreciable delay in the completion 
of the election for Shetland and Orkney. Had the Sovereign 
died in that interval the 669 elections already completed 
would have been invalid. The old Parliament called together 
again would have been got rid of as soon as possible, fresh 
writs issued, and the General Election taken over again. 
Which shows afresh, with startling novelty, how in the midst 
of life we are in death. 

When, early in the Session, the salary of Lord Privy 
Seal came to be voted, objection was taken in the House of 
The Lord Commous to Lord Salisbury's 
Privy Seal, selection of that office with 
conjunction of the Premiership. It was 
urged in some quarters that he would 
have done better to prefer the title of 
First Lord of the Treasury. To Mr. 
Arthur Balfour, present holder of the 
office, to whom the criticism was offered, 
this seemed to partake of the courteous 
communication made to a Chinese man- 
darin when his Sovereign desires that he 
should commit suicide. Ignoring that ^^j^. lord privy seal. 
personal aspect of the question, Mr. Balfour 
dwelt on the objection that, whereas Lord Privy Seal is 
highly placed in the Table of Precedence, the First Lord of 
the Treasury is unknown to that august edict. With the 




424 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1901 

Prime Minister merely First Lord of the Treasury — though, 
as in the case of the present incumbency, he were Leader of 
the House of Commons — he must yield precedence to the 
Master of the Horse or to an Irish Bishop. 

To nous autres, unless we are in a hurry to catch a train 
or exceedingly hungry, it is a matter of small importance 
whether we leave a dining-room last or enter it first. 
Amongst our betters it is a question of the highest, keenest 
interest. Mr. Gladstone, with the weight of the Empire on 
his shoulders, was never oblivious to it. I remember, at a 
time when he was Prime Minister, seeing him halt at the 
door after leaving a dinner-table, waiting for a comparatively 
unimportant member of his Administration to pass out first. 
The noble lord demurred. 

"Yes," said Mr. Gladstone, smilingly, "we are both in 
the Cabinet, but you are of the baronial rank." 

And so the First Minister of the Crown, one of the 
greatest statesmen of his age, gave the pas to the blushing 
Baron. 

The order of the Table of Precedence passeth ordinary 
understanding. Whilst the existence of the Prime Minister 
is ignored, the Archbishop of Canterbury, whom 
Curiosities of he has Created, comes next to the Royal Circle, 
the outer rim of which is marked in succession 
by the Sovereign's younger sons, his grandsons, his uncles, 
and his nephews. Next to the Archbishop of Canterbury 
stands the Lord High Chancellor, comforted on the other 
side by the Archbishop of York. The Lord Chancellor of 
Ireland, not a correspondingly important person in the 
Administration, comes third in precedence among Ministers. 
The Lord President of the Council and the Lord Privy Seal, 
both minor Ministerial offices, stand third and fourth. The 
Treasurer of the Household, the Comptroller, and the Vice- 
Chamberlain, Ministerial posts filled by young gentlemen of 
good family, to whom a thousand a year is a comfort, take 
precedence of Secretaries of State under baronial rank. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer sits below the salt. 
As for the Secretary for War, the First Lord of the 



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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



425 



Admiralty, the President of the Board of Trade, and even 
the Colonial Secretary, the Table of Precedence knovveth 
them not. The Speaker, the First Commoner of the land, 
must walk behind a marquis's younger son, must even give 




THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE. 



the />as to an Irish Bishop if, on going down to dinner, his 
lordship can show that he was consecrated prior to the Irish 
Church Act of 1869. 



The House of Commons, watching with friendly interest 
the appearance on the Parliamentary scene of the son and 
heir of Lord Randolph Churchill, observes a ^ 

. A Twentieth- 

curious mannerism m his speech. It is more century 

than hinted at in the following translation of ^P^raimite. 
the warrant for the arrest of Mr. Winston Churchill issued 
after his escape from Boer clutches : " Englishman, twenty- 
five years old, about 5 ft. 8 in. high — indifferent build — walks 



426 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1901 

a little with a bend forward — pale appearance — red brownish 
hair — small moustache hardly perceptible — talks through 
the nose, and cannot pronounce the letter S properly." 

It will be remembered that a similar peculiarity marked 
another body of fugitives of war. When the Gileadites, 
under command of Jephthah, took the passes of Jordan, the 
defeated Ephraimites attempted to cross the river. " And 
it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped 
said, Let me go over ; that the men of Gilead said unto him. 
Art thou an Ephraimite ? If he said. Nay ; then said they 
unto him, Say now Shibboleth ; and he said, Sibboleth ; for 
he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took 
him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan." 

It is certain that had Mr. Winston Churchill fought 
against Jephthah instead of Mr. Kruger his body would 
centuries ago have been swept away by the River Jordan. 

An examination of the Household accounts of William 
IV., the system inherited from the Georges, discloses the 
William iv.'s existence of a number of official personages 
Civil List, whose Style smacks of the dramatis personcB in 
some of Mr. Gilbert's plays. There was a Gentleman of the 
Pantry drawing ;^200 a year; a Groom at £60, and a Porter 
at ^50. Officials of the same rank, pouching something like 
the same salary, presided in the Wine Cellar, the Ewry, the 
Spicery, the Wood Yard, the Silver Scullery, the Pewter 
Scullery, in the composing of Confectionery and in the 
production of Pastry. 

There was a Deliverer of Greens who drew .^85 per 
annum from the taxpayer. There was a Clerk Comptroller 
of the Kitchen, who ranked as Esquire, and pocketed ;^300 
a year. There was a First Master Cook rated at £>2iy per 
annum, and a Second Master Cook who took ;^20 less. 
There was a Yeoman of the Mouth, cheap at ;^ 13 8. He 
was not, as some might think, connected with dentistry, that 
being a profession apart. There were Master Scourers and 
Assistant Scourers, and eke a Keeper of the Butter and Egg 
Office at £60 a year. There were Purveyors of bacon. 



igoi 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



427 



butter, and cheese, of milk and cream, and of " oisters." 
There was a Glassman, a Teaman, a Trunk Maker, and a 
Cork Cutter. Nothing was lacking to the majesty of the 
Household. 

The reforming hand, just beginning to be felt in high 
places, swept away many of these ancient servitors. Some 
still remain, preserving the old style, and will be drawing 
modest salaries in King Edward VI I. 's newly-settled Civil 
List. 

To recall the fact that Prince Albert, coming to this 
country on his bridal errand, drove from Dover to London by 
road, sharply illustrates the far-reaching changes a Race to the 
in daily life brought about within the reign of ^itar. 
Queen Victoria. The bridegroom-elect crossed the Channel 




CUPID AS POSTBOY. 



on 6th January 1840, and was rudely buffeted by the sea. 
He was so upset that, in spite of the urgency of his errand, 
he lay all night at Dover. Setting forth at midday he 
reached Canterbury at two o'clock next day, halting there 
long enough to receive an address from the Mayor and 
Corporation and to attend service in the Cathedral. At 



428 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1901 

half-past nine he resumed his journey, rattling through 
Chatham and Rochester, where the Mayors and Corporations 
stood by the roadside looking for opportunity to present 
addresses. 

Once on the wing the bridegroom travelled swiftly. At 
New Cross an escort of the 14th Dragoons was in waiting, 
with orders to conduct His Serene Highness with due state 
across the Metropolis. The Prince fled from them as if they 
also had addresses to present, arriving at Buckingham Palace 
an hour ahead of them. The journey was concluded at 
4.30 in the afternoon, the road from Canterbury having been 
covered in just seven hours. 

Among the letters and despatches stored at Hatfield 
dating back to the spacious times of Elizabeth there are 
An older many which still preserve on the envelopes, in 
Record. faded ink, the record of their homeward journey. 
One despatch from Sir Robert Cross, "on board Her 
Majesty's ship the Vanguard" is interesting by way of 
comparison with Prince Albert's historic ride. It is 
addressed to Sir Robert Cecil, and dated 29th January 1597. 
It is indorsed by the writer : " Haste, Haste. Post Haste. 
Haste. Robt. Crosse." Underneath is the postboy's record, 
running thus : " At Dover, at seven o'clock at night ; 
Canterbury, past ten o'clock at night ; at Sittingbourne, at 
one o'clock in the morning ; Rochester, 30th of Jan., at three 
o'clock in the morning ; Dartford, the 30th day, at half-hour 
past six in the morning ; London, the 30th day, at ten 
o'clock in the morning." 

It will be seen Prince Albert, following the precise route 
of the sixteenth - century postboy, beat him between 
Canterbury and London by five hours. 

Five years ago, at the opening of the first working 

Session of the Parliament that placed Lord Salisbury in 

"Wh re is P^^^^'*) ^ notable document was circulated among 

dat Barty the Liberal Opposition. It was signed by a 

""^ score of members prominent in the Radical wing. 

Confronted by the accomplished defeat of the Liberal Party 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 429 

at the poll in 1895 they set themselves the task of studying 
its causes, with a view to regaining lost ground. They came 
to the conclusion that it pointed to " the necessity of such 
reorganisation of Liberal forces as will evoke and focus on 
one great question all its fighting energy both in Parliament 
and in the country." 

Having thus admitted that unity was the only hope of 
salvation to the Liberal Party, the signators proceeded to 
elaborate a scheme for the creation of a new faction in its 
camp. " It has been resolved," so the document ran, " to 
form a distinctive advanced Radical section in Parliament, 
and to appeal to the Radical element in the Liberal Party 
and in the constituencies to carry on an active and energetic 
campaign in support of the principle herein laid down." 

The first principle was that " an advanced Radical section 
be and is hereby constituted of those members of Parliament 
who agree to co-operate in independent Parliamentary action 
for the promotion of Radical principles in legislation and in 
public opinion." This was a cheering prospect for Sir 
William Harcourt, who had just undertaken the thankless 
task of leading in the House of 
Commons a discredited, dis- 
heartened, and, even if united, 
hopelessly small Opposition. 

The new Party did not 
succeed in establishing any in- 
fluence in the direction of curb- 
ing the autocracy of a bloated 
Ministry. The intimacy of the 
Committee Room, where at the 
outset meetings were regularly 

° - . A SURVIVAL. 

held, revealed the painful fact 

that the Treasury Bench had not a monopoly of wrong- 
headedness. The new Party gradually dissolved, leaving 
not a wrack behind, unless we cluster under that word 
Sir Charles Dilke, Mr. Labouchere, and Mr. M'Kenna, who 
at least continued to sit together on the front bench below 
the gangway. 




430 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1901 

Looking along the benches it is curious to note what a 
large proportion of those who signed this manifesto in May 
1896 have disappeared from the scene, as it opens with the 
century on the new Parliament. Among them are Dr. Clark, 
Mr. W. Allen, Mr. Maden, Mr. Pickard, Mr. Philip Stanhope, 
and Sir W. Wedderburn. In addition to Sir Charles Dilke, 
Mr. Labouchere, Mr, Atherley Jones, and Mr. M'Kenna, 
there are still with us Mr. W. Allan, Mr. Dalziel, Mr. Samuel 
Evans, Mr. William Jones, Mr. Lloyd George, and Captain 
Norton. But there has been no sign yet of resuscitation of 
" the Radical Party." 



CHAPTER XXXVI 



JUNE 



It is a curious trait in the complex character of Lord 
Salisbury, one that must give acute pain to his fifth son, 
that a bishop is never safe in his company. premier 
Like Lord Hugh Cecil in the House of Commons, and Primate. 
the Premier is a devout man, a strict churchgoer, one 




*^ 




.~\N 






I.nV 



ijLiiiiii ■ 

" A SHY AT A BISHOP." 



hr 



brought up to reverence the cloth. But he never can resist 
the temptation to have a shy at a bishop or to trip up a 

431 



432 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1901 



Primate. The passion becomes irresistible when occasion 
arises in connection with the Liquor Question. 

Early this Session there was difficulty with the bishops, 
arising out of this vexed question of the Liquor Laws. 
TheBona-fide '^^c Bishop of Winchester moved the second 
Traveller, reading of a Bill putting six miles between 
the thirsty bona-fide traveller and his loving cup. At 
present the law decrees that he may not drink unless he 
has travelled three miles from his home. Lord Salisbury 
would have nothing to do with the Bill. With pleased 
recollections of his prowess on the tricycle when speeding 
round the quiet glades of Buckingham Palace Gardens, he 
laughed to scorn the idea that an extra three miles would 
be a deterrent to the thirsty bicyclist. 

" If you have a bicycle," he said, looking at the Lord 
Chancellor, who has hitherto withstood the fascination of 
that method of locomotion, "six miles will, especially 

if you are thirsty, 
count as little as 
three." 

He was snap- 
pish to the Arch- 
bishop of York, 
who supported the 
Bill. He was 
withering in his 
wrath against the 
Bishop of Win- 
chester, who had 
brought it in. 

"The object you 
are seeking to attain," he said, turning upon the Bishop, " is 
trivial in the extreme. You are proposing to introduce the 
maximum of disturbance with a minimum of result." 

There was a pretty full House, nearly a hundred being 
present. On ordinary questions such a muster means on a 
division a Ministerial majority of five, perhaps six, to one. 
The Whips brought ominous prognostications of defeat. 




HE WAS SNAPPISH TO THE ARCHBISHOP OF YORK. 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 433 

These were so nearly realised that the Government escaped 
with a majority of six. If this kind of thing is frequently 
repeated Lord Salisbury may have to reconsider his position 
on the question of Disestablishment. 

On this occasion, as on all others when he joins the 
debate, the Premier justified his reputation as personally the 
most interesting individual in political life. In Lords and 
the main the House of Lords is a deadly dull commons, 
place. The dumping-ground of the political world, it con- 
tains a considerable stratum of men who have either proved 
failures in the more active arena of the Commons or, after a 
more or less useful career, have reached a period of life when 
labour is but sorrow. They must be provided for, and as 
there is no room for them in a new or reconstructed Ministry, 
nor any suitable Colonial Governorship available, they have 
a coronet clapped on their heads and are sent to the House 
of Lords. 

Beyond this constant stream from backwaters outside, 
the House of Lords has to contend with the fundamental 
principle of heredity, which does not of necessity imply 
special ability. Of course, there are exceptions alike in 
cases of hereditary succession and the introduction of new 
blood. When, half-a-dozen times in the life of a Parliament, 
a question of Imperial importance comes on in the Lords 
the debate, strictly pruned of excrescences, rises to a level 
higher than that habitually attained in the Commons. But 
on ordinary nights, in pursuance of average business, it is 
impossible to conceive a duller assembly than that sparsely 
gathered in what, from the point of view of acoustics, is 
probably the most faulty chamber in the world. 

Over this conglomeration of the commonplace Lord 
Salisbury's personality coruscates. When he rises all ears 
are strained to catch his slightest word. A a supreme 
prominent charm in his speeches (the delight Man. 
not fully shared by his colleagues) is that nobody, certainly 
not excepting the Premier, knows what he will have 
said before he resumes his seat. If the vision of the 
housemaid crosses his mind he must needs follow it up, even 

2 F 



434 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1901 



though she lead him to throw out a Bill introduced in the 
other House by a faithful follower, and carried with the 
assistance of his own Lord Advocate. In the case referred 
to as happening early in the Session, having risen with no 
other intention than to flout the Bishop of Winchester and 




CORUSCATING AND BLAZING. 



sneer at the Archbishop of York, before he sat down he had 
committed himself to the principle of local option. 

This and other blazing indiscretions are due simply to 
Lord Salisbury's contempt for his fellow-man. Honestly and 
unaffectedly he does not know why at least one-half of them 
exist. Sometimes his withering regard is fastened upon an 
individual, as was the case with Mr. Disraeli when, fifty 
years ago, he sat with him in the House of Commons, little 
dreaming that before the century had entered on its last 
quarter he would journey home with him arm-in-arm from 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 435 

Berlin. More often it is a class of men that excites his ire. 
It indicates the breadth of his mind that upon occasion he 
views with equal ire extreme Radicals and the Bench of 
Bishops. 

Amongst much interesting matter in the Life and 
Correspo7tdence of Mr. Childers^ recently published by Mr. 
Murray, there is startling proof of fatal neglect After Twenty 
of lessons learned in the Transvaal twenty years Years, 
ago. In a letter dated i6th February 1881, Sir George 
Colley, making the best of the repulse at Laing's Nek, 
writes : " The want of good mounted troops told very 
heavily against us, and our soldiers are not as trained skir- 
mishers and shots as the majority of these Boers, who from 
their childhood have lived in the country to a great extent 
by their guns, and are used to stalking and shooting deer. 
Our artiller}^ does not at all compensate for our want of 
mounted troops. The Boers keep cover too well, and when 
exposed move too rapidly and in too loose order to give 
artillery much chance." 

It will be seen that this passage might have been written 
by Sir George White to Lord Lansdowne before he shut 
himself up in Ladysmith. Possibly a future biographer will 
be able to find an analogous passage in that correspondence. 

Another fact illustrative of the French saying, the more 
things change the more they resemble each other, appears in 
this same letter. " The anxiety of the Boers to conceal 
their own losses is," Sir George wrote, " almost comical." 
We have not forgotten the Boer bulletins in the early 
stages of the latest war, wherein, after desperate fights at 
Magersfontein, Spion Kop, and the like, the British were 
slain by hundreds, whilst at the most three or five Boers bit 
the dust. 

Ministers who in forgetfulness of Colley's clamour for 
mounted troops warned off the Colonies with haughty " No 
mounted men, please," can scarcely be expected jhe orange 
to have taken note of another lesson coming Free state, 
down from Majuba days. According to their spoken 



436 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1901 

testimony nothing amazed Mr. Balfour and Mr. Chamberlain 
more than the circumstance of the Orange Free State 
throwing in its lot with the Transvaal. Sir George Colley 
knew better. 

" I am afraid," he wrote, " there is no doubt the Boers 
are receiving large assistance from the Free State despite the 
efforts of President Brand and his Government. It is 
remarkable how they always cling to the Free State border 
as a secure retreat in case of reverse." 

Thus history repeats itself, and thus are its lessons 
forgotten. 

In the Memoirs published at the time of the Queen's 
death general testimony was borne by many authorities to 
Her Majesty's personal share in the daily task 
of administering the affairs of the Empire. The 
most striking testimony was borne by Mr. Balfour in his 
speech in the Commons when moving the Vote of Condolence. 
He told a hushed House how, going down to Osborne 
on the eve of the Queen's death, he was struck by the 
vast mass of untouched documents awaiting the coming 
of Her Majesty. Short as was the interval between her 
signing the last document and her lying down for her long 
rest, it was, he said, sufficient to clog the wheels of State 
administration. 

In his official correspondence Mr. Childers preserves 
many striking proofs of this habit. Queen Victoria was 
alert on every question of the day, from the dispatch of an 
army on foreign service to the clothing of the men who 
composed it, from the selection of a Commander-in-Chief to 
the distinguishing mark of an Army nurse. On these and 
all other matters the Queen not only had strong views, but 
expected them to prevail. 

Writing from Windsor Castle on loth July 1882, Her 
Majesty said : " As the last telegrams from Egypt lead the 
Queen to fear that hostilities may break out at any moment, 
she wishes to learn from Mr. Childers what force it is intended 
to send to the East in such an event, and whom he con- 



igoi 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



437 



templates recommending for the chief command. ... It 
must, of course, be conferred on one of the tried officers, 
assisted by others who have recently been in active service. 
The Queen wishes to know whom Mr. Childers has thought 
of, so that she may have time for consideration before being 
asked for her final decision. Is the transport in an effective 
state, and have we sufficient horses for performing the duties 
that will be expected of this branch if an expedition starts ? 




THE DISMISSAL OF PAM. 



The Queen wishes to be fully informed of each step as 
matters proceed, and to learn confidentially the object and 
nature of any movement towards the East." 

If her Majesty had been de facto head of the Army, as 
she was de jure, she could not have been more pertinent or 
peremptory in her inquiries. The tone of the letter recalls 
her correspondence with Lord John Russell, which resulted 
in the dismissal from the Foreign Office of Lord Palmerston, 
who had in certain despatches presumed to act as if the 



438 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1901 



young Queen were a mere figure-head. It was understood 
at the time that the historic letter which squelched Pam was 
dictated by the Prince Consort. If he was her tutor in the 
matter the letters from the Queen written nearly thirty years 
later show he had an apt pupil. 

Twelve days later Her Majesty writes from Osborne : 
" The Queen concludes the Guards will go to Malta in the 
first instance ? She trusts transports, supplies, and a large 
Hospital Corps with all that is required for the nursing and 
comfort of sick and wounded will be thought of and provided 
for. Much as the Queen rejoices to see the rapidity with 
which the expedition is to be sent she would strongly warn 
{sic) sending them out before all that is required is ready." 

In 1880 Sir Garnet Wolseley, primed with lessons 
dealing with the war in South Africa, was appointed 
Nothing new Quartcrmaster-Gcneral. With his assistance 
under the Sun. Mr. Childcrs preceded Mr. St. John Brodrick on 
the path of Army Reform, coincidence between the two 
epochs being further carried by the fact that the present 
Secretary of State for War's chief helpmate is fresh home 
from South Africa, the gleaner of costly experience. Queen 
Victoria entered with great zest into the War Office proposals, 
studying each one in detail, writing lengthy letters, acutely 
criticising and offering practical suggestions. 

When the war in Egypt in 1882 was over and Arabi 
chass^. Her Majesty wrote a weighty letter from her holiday 
home in Scotland. " The Queen is especially anxious that 
no troops should move in a hurry, as she feels convinced no 
reliance can be placed yet on the Egyptians, who would, if 
they had a chance of success, again rise. . . . The whole state 
of Egypt and its future are full of grave difficulties, and we 
must take great care that short of annexation our position is 
firmly established there, and that we shall not have to spend 
precious blood and expend much money for nothing." 

If Her Majesty were still alive this letter, with omission 
of reservation about annexation, might, and probably would, 
have been addressed to Mr. St. John Brodrick with reference 
to affairs in South Africa. 



i9or LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 439 

It was Queen Victoria who thought of establishing a 
decoration for nurses employed on active Army service. 
She remembered how, after the Crimean War, T-^e Queen's 
Miss Nig-htingale and a few of the nurses Range of 
associated with her received a badge, but that 
was for a special occasion and was costly. " The badge or 
cross," wrote her practical Majesty, " need not be of an 
expensive nature, and might be worn with a ribbon on the 
shoulder." 

One more quotation will show how quick was the 
Queen's glance, how wide her sympathies. Early in 1884 
it became known that the Duke of Marlborough wished to 
sell his pictures. At this time Mr. Childers, moving from 
the War Office, had become Chancellor of the Exchequer. 
There promptly reached him the following note from 
Osborne : — 

" The Queen understands that the Duke of Marlborough 
is going to sell his pictures and hopes that some of the most 
important may be bought by the nation." 

The hapless Chancellor of the Exchequer, faced by a 
falling revenue, the charges of two wars, and the certainty 
of a deficit, did not enthusiasti- 
cally respond. But the Queen, as 
usual, had her way. 

On the eve of the Easter recess 

Mr. Arthur Balfour, standing at the 

... . ... .. table, lifted his hands 

"Intelligent ' 

Interest" in in cloqucnt gcsturc of 
Supply. despair at the prospect 
before him. There remained only 
four days for discussion of the 
Supplementary Estimates, staved 
off from day to day by what he an eloquent gesture of 
delicately described as the " intelli- 
gent interest" taken in the Votes by the Irish members. A 
simple calculation pointed to the conclusion that in further 
development of that " intelligent interest" fifty-seven divisions 




440 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1901 

might be taken before Supply was voted and the Appropria- 
tion Bill brought in in anticipation of the close of the 
financial year. As a division takes on the average a quarter 
of an hour for its completion, it followed that fourteen hours 
and a quarter, perilously approaching the limit of two 
ordinary sittings, would be occupied simply in walking 
round the lobbies. 

On the face of it this appears to reduce legislation to 
absurdity. Its effect spread over a Session is naturally 
Legislation by i^iore Startling than the limited view taken in 
Peregrination, ^his particular instance by the Leader of the 
House. The last Session of the old Parliament was 
exceptionally dull. The Irish members, not yet reorganised 
on the financial basis introduced in the palmy days of Mr. 
Parnell, were not in spirits sufficiently high to take an 
occasional spurt in divisions. The total for the Session 
footed up to 290, a number that will be far exceeded before 
the close of the present Session. 

That means that of the last Session of the last Parlia- 
ment of the nineteenth century our legislators spent seventy- 
two hours, just eight Parliamentary days, in walking round 
and round the Division Lobbies. Regarded as exercise 
varying sedentary occupation, the performance has its recom- 
mendation. It is not calculated to increase the respect of 
plain business men for the High Court of Parliament. 

The introduction of the closure, an essential condition 

to doing any work at all in the House of Commons, is itself 

responsible for increasing the number of divisions. 

Tlie Closure. ^ . ,, ^ , , i 

Occasionally a Government proposal, though 
obnoxious to a section of the House, may get through 
without a division. The closure is always divided upon. 
There are some members who boast that they have religiously 
fulfilled a vow, registered when the closure was carried, that 
they would divide upon it, however desirable might be the 
object it had in view. Thus it comes to pass that, whereas 
in dealing with an amendment in Committee of Supply 
one division formerly sufficed, two must now be taken. 

It comes about in this way. After much talk the 



I90I 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



441 



Minister moves " that the question be now put." It rests 
with the Speaker to decide whether he shall submit the 
closure. If he agrees there can be no discussion, the House 
straightway dividing. When members come back from the 
Division Lobby, the closure being carried, the question 
under debate at the time it was moved is submitted and a 
second division takes place. I have said that two are 




LOBBY-SPRINTING — WHAT IT MAY COME TO. 

inevitable. If the question before the House be an amend- 
ment the divisions may run to three. After the closure has 
been carried and the amendment negatived, the Speaker 
puts the main question — that is to say, a particular vote in 
the Estimates. Whereupon, appetite growing by what it 
feeds upon, members trudge out for a third lap in the 
Division Lobbies. 



Readers of the country papers, who through the Parlia- 
mentary Session open their favourite broad-sheet to find a 
whole page of speeches delivered in the House Parliamentary 
on the previous night, cannot realise the situation Reports, 
in this respect as it existed when the Post Office took 
over the telegraphs. Thirty years ago news, general and 
Parliamentary, was purveyed by the Electric Telegraph 
Company. That corporation was the Press Association, 



442 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1901 

the Central News, and all the rest of them combined. 
To-day these agencies have large staffs working on a 
perfected system, ensuring accuracy, fulness, and speed of 
reporting. 

Thirty years ago what was pompously, if not sarcastically, 
known as The Intelligence Department of the Electric 
Telegraph Company was composed of four personages. At 
the head of them was the redoubtable Charles Vincent Boys, 
who, when the transfer took place, drove with the Post 
Office a hard bargain from which the Telegraph Department 
suffers at this day. Incidentally C. V. B, secured for 
himself a pension on which he snugly lived, dying a year 
ago in the neighbourhood of his beloved Fleet Street, full 
of years and honour and good dinners. 

The Electric Telegraph Company in his day enjoyed a 
monopoly. They charged what they pleased for their 
service, and the rate was so stiff that the wealthiest provincial 
papers were satisfied with a daily column or two of Parlia- 
mentary report. Whether the world was any the worse oft 
by comparison with the present redundancy is an interesting 
question. To-day, whilst the tendency among the majority 
of the London papers is to summarise the reports, the country 
papers let themselves go over a full page report of important 
debates. Several habitually exceed the length of Parlia- 
mentary report supplied by the London morning papers, 
excepting the Times^ which in this matter has a special 
tradition to keep up. 

Whatever may be the effect on the intelligence of the 
public wrought by the cheapening of telegraph rates, there 
is no doubt it has served appreciably to lengthen Parlia- 
mentary proceedings. Most of the wealthy provincial daily 
papers have their special wire, over which are transmitted full 
reports of speeches delivered by local members. Formerly 
these gentlemen, being dismissed with curt paragraphs of 
the reports in the London papers, and having no special 
provision made for them by the local journals, did not find 
it worth while to insist on contributing weighty speeches to 
current debates. It is different now, and the altered cir- 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 443 

cumstances are responsible for much loquacity in the dinner- 
hour at Westminster. 

The good old times, with C. V. Boys working the 
Intelligence Department, aided by three assistants, one a 
stripling of seventy-three, had its compensations. 



CHAPTER XXXVII 



lULY 



Edward VII. happily possesses the unmistakable, but in- 
definable, gift of being personally interesting. Amongst 



living monarchs ex- 




The King:. 



amples of possession of 
this quality or negation of it are 
severally found in the German 
Emperor and the King of the 
Belgians. Among English states- 
men, living and of recent times, it 
will appear upon examination that 
the attraction is very rare. In the 
House of Lords the Marquis of 
Salisbury monopolises it on the 
Ministerial Bench. On the Opposi- 
tion side Lord Rosebery, in perhaps 
even fuller degree, is the sole 
depository of the secret. On the 
Treasury Bench of the House of 
Commons Mr. Arthur Balfour and 
Mr. Chamberlain exclusively weave 
the magic spell ; whilst on the 
Front Opposition Bench Sir William 
Harcourt in this respect sits alone. 

Of past Ministers Mr. Disraeli and Mr. Gladstone possessed 

the mysterious quality in superlative degree. 

444 



A POPULAR FIGURE — 
HIS MAJESTY JOHN BULL. 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 445 

Since his memorable illness the Prince of Wales has 
always been popular. He was, of course, in all respects, the 
same man when, after unusually long chrysalis state, he 
bloomed into Sovereignty. Nevertheless, the public expected 
something different, and were not disappointed. The earliest 
public utterances and actions of the King struck the right 
note. The homely English mind was pleased by reiteration 
of affectionate reference to the " beloved mother." It 
recognised a fine heart and mind in the modest sheltering of 
the King behind the revered figure of his predecessor on the 
throne, and in the solemn pledge closely to follow in her 
footsteps. This satisfaction was confirmed by promulgation 
of the addresses to " my people " at home and beyond the 
seas, which in simple, manly language acknowledged the 
sympathy evoked by the death of the Queen and renewed 
promise to walk in her ways. 

As Prince of Wales, the King in varied circumstances 
showed himself a born and trained man of business. One 
of his latest undertakings was the presidency of a Man of 
the Committee of the English Section of the Paris Business. 
Exhibition. A member of it, himself the head of a great 
business enterprise, told me he had learnt something from 
the manner in which the affairs of the committee were 
organised and directed from Marlborough House. This 
quality had full field for its display on the accession of the 
King. From the very first morning of his reign all the 
arteries of life in connection with the Crown felt the whole- 
some impulse of a fresh current. Under the mild domestic 
dominion of Queen Victoria, the order of things about the 
Court had fallen into sluggish condition. They were stirred 
up on the morrow of the Queen's death, and are not likely 
to relapse. 

The King shares with his Imperial nephew a natural 
leaning towards the regulation of Court ceremonial. Within 
due bounds he loves pageants, and insists upon having them 
ordered and carried out with strictest attention to precedent. 
Within the first fortnight of his reign London, not over- 
strained with such excitement, beheld two spectacles worthy 



446 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1901 



its position among the capitals of the world. One was the 
stately procession that escorted the dead Queen to her last 

home. The other was the open- 
ing of Parliament by the King. 
There is well-founded expecta- 
tion that, when the time of 
mourning shall be accomplished, 
the promise here given, of 
varying dull business life with 
historic pageantry, will be fully 
redeemed. Edward VII., as 
has been said, is essentially a 
business man. He thoroughly 
understands the business of a 
King, and may be counted upon 
to conduct it on the highest 
plane. 

Those who come mostclosely 
in contact with His Majesty 
speak with fullest 

^ . /- 1 • Kindly Tact. 

admiration of his 
never-failing tact, a priceless gift 
which has its foundation in kindness of heart. I have 
personal recollection of an example forthcoming on an 
occasion when I had the honour of meeting him at dinner. 
It was a little festival given at the Junior Carlton Club by 
Lord Randolph Churchill to the then Prince of Wales. 
The guests were severally presented to His Royal Highness, 
who, in his pleasant, unaffected manner, conversed with each 
for a few moments. In fulfilment of this matter-of-course 
duty he might have talked to me about the weather, or 
if he had desired to choose a more special and equally 
familiar topic might have referred to proceedings in Parlia- 
ment the night before. What he did talk about, with beaming 
face and hearty laughter, was an article written "From the 
Cross Benches," published in the London Observer, describing 
Mr. Christopher Sykes's adventures when bringing in a "Bill to 
Amend the Fisheries (Oysters, Crabs, and Lobsters) Act, i 877." 




THE IMPERIAL NEPHEW. 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 447 

Newspaper articles of the day before yesterday are 
like the snow on the river, gone and for ever. It is true 
Christopher Sykes was an old friend and companion of His 
Royal Highness, a fact that would dispose him to read the 
article if it came in his way. But in the careful choice of 
this far-reaching reminiscence — Lord Randolph's dinner was 
given early in the Session of 1 890 ; the Christopher Sykes 
article appeared in May 1884 — was testified painstaking 
effort to give pleasure in a very small matter. It was the 
same spirit that prompted His Royal Highness to say that, 
finding the Observer on his table on Sunday morning, he 
always turned first to the " Cross Bench " article. 

It is generally assumed that the Sovereign contributes 
nothing to direct taxation during life, and that at death 
Royal property passes without the tribute of side-iights on 
Death Duties. The latter is, I believe, the fact, the civii List. 
But on a portion of her income Queen Victoria certainly 
paid Income-tax. In each of the last four years of her reign 
the sum of ;^2 867 was debited to this account in the depart- 
ment of the Lord Steward. Through the same period the 
Lord Chamberlain paid on the same account £\^(iO a year, 
the Master of the Horse £\2,77, and the Mistress of the 
Robes £167. 

Her late Majesty's annual visits to the Continent ran to 
a considerable sum. In 1899 it was ;^4383, exclusive of 
nearly £1 300 expenses incurred by the Master of the Horse. 
In the same year Her Majesty's autumn visit to Balmoral 
cost £10,^90, her stay at Osborne exceeding £1200. 
Another charge that fell heavy on the Royal purse was 
occasioned by the visits of foreign Sovereigns. The King 
of Siam's call in 1897 cost the Queen £944. The visit 
of the German Emperor in 1891 accounted for £ij66, his 
later visit in 1899 costing only £46$. This is in addition 
to considerable incidental expenses borne by the State. 

A large sum appeared in the estimates voted by the 
House of Commons on account of the marriages of the 
Princess Louise and the Duke of York. Queen Victoria 



448 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1901 



incurred additional charges out of her privy purse, amounting 
to ^575 in one case and ^^1889 in the other. The late 
Queen generously bore the costs of the funeral of the Duke 
of Clarence (^^514) and of the Duchess of Teck, which ran 
up to £680. 

There are some increases and some deductions in the 
King's Household as compared with his Royal mother's. 

Our Poet Laureate is still left to 
draw his £jo a year. But the 
snug place of the Reader of 
Windsor Castle, with a salary of 
i^200, has not been filled up under 
the new reign. 

When moving for the appoint- 
ment of the Civil List Committee 
the Chancellor of the jhe Queen's 
Exchequer surprised savings, 
the House of Commons by the 
statement that for some years past 
the sum provided for the expenses 
of the Sovereign fell short of the 
demand. Queen Victoria making up 
the balance out of her privy purse. 
This ran directly counter to the 
popular idea that, owing to the 
modest way in which the Court was kept, there were 
considerable savings on the Civil List expenditure. The 
Ministerial statement and the popular rumour were alike 
true. For the last eleven years of her reign Queen Victoria 
found it necessary to draw upon her privy purse to balance 
expenditure. The sums so appropriated varied from a pay- 
ment of ^4480 in 1892 to a maximum of ;^i 7,000 in 
1894. 

There was in 1887 a special disbursement of .^42,602 
on account of the Jubilee. Prior to that date, running back 
to the first year of her reign, there were regular savings of 
sums so considerable as to amount to ^824,025. Per contra, 
the Oueen contributed out of these savings to current 




THE POET LAUREATE'S FEE. 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 449 

expenses £170,2^6, leaving a balance to the good of the 
privy purse of ;^653,769. With compound interest accruing 
over more than threescore years this handsome sum would 
assume really magnificent proportions. 

It would be difficult to find more striking evidence of 
the growth of national prosperity during Queen Victoria's 
long reign than is presented in the accounts of 

, /- 1 T^ 1 r T II "^''^ Duchies. 

the revenues 01 the Duchy of Lancaster and the 
Duchy of Cornwall. The first was the pocket-money of the 
Queen ; the second the perquisite of the Prince of Wales. 
In 1838, the first complete year of her reign, Queen Victoria 
drew from the Duchy of Lancaster the sum of ;^5000. In 
I 899, the penultimate year of her life, the Queen received, 
as she had done during the three previous years, the round 
sum of i^6o,ooo. 

The first complete year's payment out of the revenues of 
the Duchy of Cornwall paid to the account of the Prince of 
Wales was ;^i 8,579. This was in the year 1843, when 
His Royal Highness, just past his second year, regarded 
a thousand pounds here or there with sublime indifference. 
During his minority the annual revenue accumulated with 
steady growth, till in i860 it exceeded .^45,000. In 1899, 
the last year to which accounts were made up, it fell a few 
pounds short of £6y ,000. 

This princely sum will henceforth be paid to the Duke 
of Cornwall in addition to the ;^30,ooo a year allotted to 
himself and the Duchess in the settlement of the Civil List. 
The revenues of the Duchy of Lancaster go to His Majesty, 
in supplement of the ;!^470,ooo a year voted to the Civil 
List. 

Of the Committee appointed in 1889 to inquire into the 
former practice of the House of Commons with respect to 
provision for members of the Royal Family only 
three sat on the Civil List Committee of the committee of 
present year. They were Mr. Labouchere, Mr. ' ^' 
Wharton, and Mr. (now Sir Samuel) Hoare. Of members 
of the former Committee who still have seats in the House 

2 G 



450 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1901 




MR. LABOUCHERE SITTING ON THE CIVIL LIST. 



of Commons are Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Burt, Sir John Gorst, 

and Mr. John Morley. Two, Mr. Goschen and Lord 

Hartington, have 
gone to the House 
of Lords. Three 
have retired from 
Pari iamentary 
life : Mr. Illing- 
worth, Mr. Sexton, 
and Mr. Whit- 
bread. Death has 
been busy with 
the group. Passed 
away from con- 
sideration of Civil 
Lists and other 
mundane matters 

are Mr. Gladstone, Sir Walter Barttelot, Sir James Corry, 

Sir Stafford Northcote, Sir Hussey Vivian, and Mr. W. H. 

Smith, who presided. He is represented on the Committee 

of the present year by his son. 

The result of this inquiry was a compromise largely due 

to the wisdom and tact of Queen Victoria. The point was 

as to the limit, if any, of the national obligation 

victcTria's ^° providc for the grandchildren of the Sovereign. 

Grand= Mj-. Labouchcrc had a short way of settling the 

children. . tti-iia- • 11 

busmess. He desired the Committee to declare 
that, apart from the Civil List, in the growing revenues of the 
Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of Cornwall there were 
ample funds from which provision might be made for the chil- 
dren of the Prince and Princess of Wales. He further asserted 
that the funds at the disposal of Her Majesty were sufficient 
to enable her to make provision for her grandchildren 
by her younger sons and daughters without trenching on 
the annual expenditure deemed necessary for the honour 
and dignity of the Crown. 

In fine, Mr. Labouchere invited the Committee to record 
its emphatic opinion that " the cost of the maintenance of 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 451 

members of the Royal Family is already so great that under 
no circumstances should it be increased. In its opinion, a 
majority of Her Majesty's subjects regard the present cost 
of Royalty as excessive, and it deems it therefore most 
undesirable to prejudice any decisions that may be taken in 
regard to this cost by Parliament whenever the entire subject 
comes under its cognizance, by granting, either directly or 
indirectly, allowances or annuities to any of the grandchildren 
of the Sovereign." Only Mr. Burt joined Mr. Labouchere 
in signing this minority report. Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Morley, 
and the rest of the Committee agreed in negativing it. 

The majority report admitted that the Queen would 
have a claim on the liberality of Parliament, should she 
think fit to apply for such grants as, according to precedent, 
might become requisite for the support of the Royal Family. 
But the Queen made it known that she did not propose to 
press this claim on behalf of the children of her daughters 
and her younger sons. With respect to the family of the 
Prince of Wales the Committee recommended the creation 
of a special fund by the quarterly payment of ^9000 out 
of the Consolidated Fund. An annual sum of ;!^40,ooo was 
proposed, but, on the motion of Mr. Gladstone, it was reduced 
to ^^"36,000. 

Being authorised only during the reign of Queen Victoria 
and for a period of six months after her demise, the payment 
lapsed in July 1900. 

For some years before his death Sir Edward Watkin ^ 
had withdrawn from the House of Commons. Failing health 
and advancing years began to tell upon an iron gir Edward 
constitution. There came Over him an unfamiliar watkin. 
longing for repose. He held a safe seat at Hythe, whether 
he marched under the Liberal flag or ranged himself in 
support of a Unionist Government. After experience, going 
back nearly forty years, he had grown aweary of Westminster. 
The one thing that kept him constant to the Parliamentary 
post was the hope of carrying a Bill authorising his beloved 

1 Died 1901. 



45 2 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1901 



Channel Tunnel. He found a powerful recruit in Mr. 
Gladstone, who not only time after time voted in favour of 
the second reading of the Bill, but supported it in luminous 
speeches. At the same time he was careful to explain that 
in this matter he merely exercised the privilege of a private 
member. 

In addition to an overwhelming majority in successive 
Parliaments, the Channel Tunnel had arrayed against it two 
such doughty opponents as Mr. Chamberlain and Lord 
Randolph Churchill, Early in the eighties Sir Edward, who 
was not accustomed to allow the grass to grow under his 
feet, commenced the works designed to connect, beneath the 




BURROWING POWERS — THE LATE SIR EDWARD WATKIN. 

silver streak, the Continent and Great Britain. Mr. Chamber- 
lain, at the time President of the Board of Trade, appointed a 
Departmental Committee to inquire into the project. Mean- 
while he issued an edict forbidding further progress with the 
works. Sir Edward was furious. He confided to me a 
project he was quite capable of carrying out. 

" If," he said, " the Tunnel works are permanently stopped, 
I will erect on the site at the British end a pillar of stone 
lofty enough to be seen by ships passing up and down the 
great water-way." 

In fine weather, he mused with undisguised satisfaction, 
it might be seen from the coast of France. On its front he 
would have engraved an inscription recording how the works 
had been visited by the Prince of Wales, by Mr. Gladstone, 
the Speaker of the House of Commons, peers and commoners 



igoi 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



453 



galore ; how, when the great enterprise was fairly started, the 
works were stopped by " Joseph Chamberlain, of Birmingham." 

In the Session of 1888 Sir Edward, undaunted by 
previous repulses, again moved the second reading of the 
Bill. Mr. Gladstone came down on a Wednesday L^^d Randolph 
afternoon to support it. The Debate is memor- churchui. 
able chiefly for a speech contributed by Lord Randolph 
Churchill. 

Replying to the stock argument that in case of war 
with France the under-sea approach to our island home 




THE TUNNEL TERROR. 



would be a source of danger. Sir Edward showed how by 
an electric button pressed in a room in London the British 
end of the tunnel could be blown up and approach made 
impracticable. This greatly tickled Lord Randolph's fancy. 
With dramatic gestures of outstretched forefinger he pictured 
the members of the Cabinet presided over by Lord Salisbury 
deciding who was to press the fateful button. On a division 
a second reading was refused in a full House by nearly 
two to one. The figures were: for the second reading 165, 
against 307. 

In business relations Sir Edward was an uncompromising 



454 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1901 

friend, an implacable adversary. When he took a man up, 

Out of being thoroughly convinced of his capacity, he 
Harness, pushed him along to the highest places. When 
he fought a man he was as bitterly relentless, as is indicated in 
the incident of his projected monument to Mr. Chamberlain. 
Through manj^ years the relative position in the railway 
world of himself and Mr. J. S. Forbes, of the Chatham and 
Dover line, were akin to those filled in the political field by 
Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Disraeli. 

Which railway magnate represented Mr. Gladstone, and 
which Mr. Disraeli, those familiar with the twain must settle 
for themselves. 

In his private relations Sir Edward was kind-hearted in 
the extreme, always ready and anxious to serve some one, 
however humble his position. But he carried the peremptori- 
ness of the Board-room into domestic life. I remember 
staying with him at the little chalet he built for himself on 
Snowdon, having in his princely manner purchased one flank 
of the great Welsh mountain. It was a lovely autumn night, 
with the stars shining like moons. A large telescope stood 
on the lawn before the dining-room window. Sir Edward 
directed his butler to arrange the instrument for the edification 
of his guests. What he was chiefly anxious for was that we 
should see and recognise Jupiter. 

" Now, Mullet," he said, addressing the butler in sharp 
tones of command, standing by him as he manipulated the 
telescope, " where's Jupiter? Come, turn on Jupiter." As 
if the planet were a soda-water siphon or the plug in the 
bath-room. 

Staying with him another time at Northenden, his old 
home near Manchester, where he spent many happy years 
of married life and where he died full of years and honours, 
he was much distressed at dinner because he could not think 
of any suitable and sufficient way of entertaining his guests. 
He came down to breakfast next morning radiant. Lying 
awake at night burdened with the trouble a happy thought 
flashed upon him. It was a time when the two great 
northern lines, competing for Scotch traffic, had each put on 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 455 

an express service covering the distance from London to 
Edinburgh in eight hours. 

" I'll tell you what we'll do," he said, rubbing his hands 
gleefully ; " we'll go up to town this afternoon, dine and 
sleep there ; get up in good time in the morning, go to 
Edinburgh with the fast train, sleep there ; come back next 
morning, catching a train that will bring us back here for a 
late dinner." 

He was surprised that this alluring programme was not 
acclaimed. For himself he was as comfortable in a railway 
carriage as in an arm-chair in his dining-room. He used to 
say that the safest place in the world was a railway carriage 
travelling over a well-laid road at a speed of fifty miles 
an hour. 

Sir Edward had his faults of temper, occasionally perhaps 
of taste. But he was of the class that have made England 
great. In public he said some harsh things ; in private he 
did many kind ones. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII 



AUGUST 



On his installation the new Bishop of London had his 
experience enlarged in the field of fees. It is a high honour 

to be selected ^, , ,^ 

Fleecing: the 
for a seat on chosen of the 

the Episcopal 
Bench. The honour be- 
stowed, it seems the most 
natural thing in the world 
to take the seat and there 
an end on't. But that is 
only the beginning of it. 
As every one knows, whilst 
the gift of a Bishopric rests 
with the Prime Minister, 
the nominee is elected by 
the Dean and Chapter. 
Virtually by command of 
the Sovereign, the Crown 
Office issues a conge cTelire. 
This means money, which 
has to come out of the Bishop's pocket. The warrant 
costs ;^io ; the certificate, ;^i6 : los. ; letters patent, ^^30 ; 
the docquet, 2s. The Dean and Chapter, having duly 
elected the nominee of the Prime Minister, return the name 
to the Crown Office, and the Royal Assent is signified. 

456 




THE BISHOP S BILL — " DEAR ME ! LONDON'S 
A DREADFULLY EXPENSIVE PLACE." 



I90I LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 457 

This involves duplication of the charges, with the difference 
that the cost of the certificate is increased by los, to make 
it even money. 

Next follows a process known as restitution of 
temporalities. In pursuance of this duty the new Bishop is 
fined ^10 for the warrant, ^31 : iO:6 for the certificate, 
£2,0 for letters patent, and the inevitable 2s. for the docquet, 
a hardship only partially lightened by spelling the word with 
a "q" and a " u." These sums disbursed, the new Bishop 
reasonably thinks he may retire to his palace, if the See 
provides one. But the Home Office next steps on the scene 
and demands Exchequer fees. The conge d'elire, already 
handsomely paid for, means another £y : 1 3 : 6. Equal 
sums are demanded for letters recommendatory, Royal 
Assent, and restitution of temporalities. The oath of 
homage is thrown in for £6 -.6:6. Next comes the Board 
of Green Cloth demanding £1^ :o:2 (what was it Mr. 
Mantalini said about the coppers ?), being homage fees to be 
distributed among the heralds and the Earl Marshal. 

On the Bishop taking his seat in the House of Lords, 
gentlemen in the Lord Great Chamberlain's Office fob ^5. 
The Cathedral bell-ringers get ;^io : los. for jubilation on the 
ceremony of enthronisation, the choir being paid £6 : 1 7 : 4. 
On the same happy occasion the Precentor draws ;^io : los. 
and the chapter clerk ^^^9:14:8, this last in addition to 
£2 1 : 6 : 8, his fees on the Bishop's election. The 
Archbishop's officers are not backward in coming forward to 
congratulate the new Bishop. The Secretary bringing the 
Archbishop's fiat for confirmation collars £\J : los. The 
Vicar -General draws fees on confirmation amounting to 
£'i,\ :0: 10, with £\0: 5s. to spend on the church where 
the ceremony takes place. Nine guineas go to the Deputy- 
Registrar as fees on mandate of induction, the customary fee 
to the Bishop's secretaries payable on such occasion being 

£Z^: 5s. 

The clerk at the Crown Office is fain to be satisfied 
with a humble gratuity of half a guinea, less than you would 
tip your boy at Eton or Harrow. But this moderation is 



458 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1901 



only apparent. He pockets two guineas for what he calls 

petty expenses, and when 
the Bishop takes his seat 
in the House of Lords 
he claims no less than 

The total amount of 
fees payable on entering 
a bishopric, made up of 
these quaint details, is 
;i^42 3 : 19:2. Curates 
for whom the Episcopal 
Bench is on the distant, 
peradventure un- 
approachable, horizon, 
will recognise, with secret 
pleasure, that the high 
estate has its drawbacks. 
In parish annals 
there is a well-known 
story of a gifted clerk 
on the occasion of the 

visit of the Bishop giving out a paraphrased version of the 

hymn : — 

Why skip ye so, ye little hills, and wherefore do ye hop ? 

Is it because you're glad to see His Grace the Lord Bi-shop ? 

There can be no doubt skipping and hopping (figuratively, 
of course) go on at the Crown Office, the Home Office, the 
Office of the Lord Great Chamberlain, in the Archbishop's 
offices, in the precincts of the Dean and Chapter, and eke 
at the Board of Green Cloth, when a new Bishop is nominated. 
The exercise is more vigorous when an Archbishop comes to 
the throne, since in his case the fees are doubled. 




APPROACHING THE DEAN AND CHAPTER. 



In one of Lord Beaconsfield's last appearances in the 
House of Lords it seemed for a while that personal collision 
was imminent. Towards the close of an important debate 



igoi 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



459 



Lord Granville presented himself at the table to fulfil 

the appointed duty of Leader of the Opposition, , ^ g 

winding up debate from his side of the House, to field's 

be followed in due course by the Premier. At the ' emma. 

same moment Lord Beaconsfield rose, and began a speech. 

Lord Granville, gentlest and most 

courteous of men, found this more 

than he could stand. He angrily 

protested, seemed for a while inclined 

to insist on his right, but finally gave 

way. 

A year later, when Lord Beacons- 
field was at final rest. Lord Granville 
told the secret history of the strange 
incident. In anticipation of making 
a speech at a particular hour the 
Premier had administered to himself 
a medical stimulant calculated to keep 
him going for the necessary hour he 
would be on his legs. The debate 
•was unexpectedly prolonged. The 
time had come when he must speak, 
and speak he did. Lord Granville 
took the opportunity of expressing his 
profound regret that, ignorant of the 
tragic necessity that environed the aged Premier, he had 
even for a moment stood in his way. 

The most striking illustration of the absolute helplessness 
of the House of Lords in the absence of Standing Orders 
such as govern debate in the Commons is within 
the memory of many now seated in the Chamber. 
The second reading of the Deceased Wife's Sister Bill being 
put down for a certain Monday, a noble lord resident in 
Scotland prepared an elaborate speech and set out for London. 
Timing his journey so as to reach Euston shortly after noon, 
he missed connection with the London train, and found it 
impossible to be at Westminster till the next day. On 
arriving at the House of Lords he learned that the first 




WOUND UP AND TIMED. 



Rather Mixed. 



460 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1901 



business was a resolution on the subject of opening museums on 
a Sunday. He had with him the manuscript of his precious 
speech on the Deceased Wife's Sister Bill. It was too good 
to be lost. He might, of course, save it till next year, when 
the hardy annual would reappear. But life is uncertain ; 
there is no time like the present. 

Accordingly, when the noble lord in charge of the 
resolution on the Opening Museums on Sundays had made 
an end of speaking, the noble baron, who holds historic rank 
in the peerage of Scotland, followed, and delivered his speech 
on the Deceased Wife's Sister Bill. The Lord Chancellor 
sat aghast on the Woolsack. The few peers present moved 
restlessly in their seats and deprecatingly coughed. No 

one had power to stop the bold baron, 
who went on to the uttermost sentence. 

When Mr. Stansfeld was driven out 
of office in connection with the Mazzini 
incident. Lord Palmerston ^D^bitand 
offered Mr. Childers office 
as Junior Lord of the Ad- 
miralty. Always a business man, the 
young member for Pomfret, undazzled 
by the opening, consulted his ledger, 
and found that, consequent upon neces- 
sary resignations of company director- 
ships, acceptance of the post would 
involve a sacrifice of £2 1 00 a year. 
After some hesitation, finding it would 
be permissible to retain some of his 
salaried directorships, he on that condi- 
tion accepted the post. 

This concession was communicated 
in a letter from Mr. Brand, then Whip 
of the Liberal Party, afterwards Speaker of the House of 
Commons. It is valuable as an authority upon an ever- 
recurring question. 

" Lord Palmerston," Mr. Brand wrote, " desires me to 




Credit 
Account. 



THE LATE MR. STANSFELD 
AND MAZZINL 



igoi 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



461 



say he sees no objection to a member of the Government 
retaining other employment, provided that employment can 
be carried on without prejudice to the Queen's Service, 
which has the paramount claim. Subject to that rule, he 
leaves it to you to determine what class of business you may, 
as a member of the Government, properly retain. He thinks 
that the rule should be applied with strictness to foreign 
undertakings." 

This is a pretty generous construction of the problem, 
quite in keeping with Pam's easy-going disposition. It will 
be remembered it was by a breach 
of the one imperative condition 
that poor Lord Henry Lennox 
came to grief If, in spite of all 
temptation, he had never become 
a director of the Lisbon Tramways 
Co. he might have shared to the 
end the spoils of his friend Mr. 
Disraeli's victory at the polls of 

1874. 

I have come across a little 
volume of rare interest. To give it its full title it is : The 
Royal Calendar or Complete and Correct Annual "Ood's" 
Register for England, Scotland, Ireland, and Grandfather. 
America for the year 1801. A principal feature is a list 
of members of the eighteenth Parliament of Great Britain 
summoned to meet for their first Session in September 
1796. "Printed for J. Debrett, Piccadilly," it is the 
progenitor of the volume known to later generations as 
" Dod." 

Looking down the list of members sitting in the House 
of Commons exactly a hundred years ago, I am struck by 
recurrence of names familiar in the House sitting to-day and 
in others that have immediately preceded it. There is 
Nisbet Balfour, a Lieutenant-General in the Army, Colonel 
of the 39th Regiment. He shared the representation of 
Arundel with a member of the family name of the member 
for Shrewsbury, and of an even better known Mr. Greene 




THE LATE LORD HENRY LENNOX. 



462 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1901 

who had a seat in the Parliament of 1874. There is a 
Samuel Whitbread and a Robert John Buxton, who both 
had kinsmen sitting in the last Parliament, one still on the 
Front Opposition Bench. 

When George III. was King there was in the House of 
Commons a John Lubbock, banker, in London, as there was 
through many years of the reign of Queen Victoria. Also 
there was a Benjamin Hobhouse and a James Stuart Wortley, 
Recorder of the borough of Bofifiney, Cornwall, for which he 
sat at Westminster. We have a Stuart Wortley in the House 
to-day. But where is the borough of Boffiney, which a 
hundred years ago returned two members to Parliament ? 
There is a John Whitmore, a Charles Sturt, a Robert 
Manners, a Michael Hicks-Beach, forebear of the Chancellor 
of the Exchequer, who a hundred years ago represented 
Cirencester, and lived at Williamstrip Park, Gloucestershire. 
There is a Cavendish Bentinck, whereas a recent Parliament 
had two, familiarly known as " Big Ben " and " Little Ben," 
both gone over to the majority. There is a Robert Curzon, 
not of the family of the Viceroy of India, but a progenitor 
of the popular Ministerial Whip, Lord Randolph Churchill's 
brother-in-law, who last Session left the Commons to take 
his seat in the Upper House. 

The earlier days of the century saw a Sir Henry Fletcher 
in the House of Commons, as did its closing term. There 
was John Lowther, Charles Villiers, of course Sir Watkin 
Williams Wynn ; Lord George Cavendish, only brother of 
the Duke of Devonshire ; Cropley Ashley, brother of Lord 
Shaftesbury ; Edward Bouverie, Thomas Wyndham, Sir 
Edward Knatchbull, a Sam Smith unfamiliar with modern 
music-halls, knowing nothing of Piccadilly at midnight ; 
William Montagu Scott, who never dreamed a lineal descend- 
ant among members of the House of Commons would call 
himself Scott Montagu and drive a motor-car ; Charles Long, 
of Trinton Hall, Suffolk ; Thomas Manners Sutton, Lord 
Chancellor of Ireland in 1807 ; Sir Matthew White Ridley, 
representing Newcastle- on -Tyne ; Charles Shaw-Lefevre, 
another name later on connected with the Speaker's Chair ; 



I90I 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



463 



Lionel Darner, to whom sixt}'' years after succeeded Dawson 
Darner, whose eccentricities occasionally disturbed the 
Parliament of 1874; Edward Stanley; Leveson Gower ; 
Lord William Russell, youngest brother of the Duke of 
Bedford ; Simon Harcourt ; William Brodrick, Secretary to 
the East India Board ; John Henry Petty, son of the Marquis 
of Lansdowne ; Lord John Douglas Campbell, second son of 
the Duke of Argyll. 

Amongst members of this Parliament whose names live 
in history was Spencer Perceval, who at that time held no 
higher post than the extinct one, 
doubtless carrying a good salary, of 
Surveyor of the Meltings and Clerk 
of the Irons in the Mint. In i 809 
he became Prime Minister, and was 
done to death by Bellingham, who 
shot him as he entered the Lobby 
of the House on i i th May i 8 i 2. 

George Canning, member for 
Wendover, Bucks, was Joint Pay- 
master of the Forces, a Com- 
missioner for the Affairs of India, 
and Receiver-General of the Aliena- 
tion Office, a post long ago alienated 
from connection with the Exchequer 
in the way of salary. Charles Fox 
was seated for the City of West- 
minster ; whilst the Right Hon. 
Henry Temple, Viscount Palmer- 
ston, LL.D., sat for Winchester, 
living during the Session at East 

Sheen ; through the recess at his later more famous country 
seat, Broadlands. William Wilberforce, not yet having 
tackled the slavery question, sat for Yorkshire, a broad area, 
whose representation he shared with Henry Lascelles, son of 
Lord Harewood. 

Considerable variation in the amount of Ministerial 
salaries has taken place in the past century. The Secretary 




PAM AS A WINCHESTER BOY. 



464 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1901 

of State for Foreign Affairs, a hundred years ago Lord 
Ministerial Grcnville, was paid at the rate of ^2500 a 
Salaries, year, against the ;^5ooo Lord Lansdowne to- 
day receives. Mr. Dundas, Secretary of State for War, had 
^2000 a year, against Mr. Brodrick's ^5000. On the 
other hand, the Duke of Portland, Home Secretary, drew 
;i^6ooo against Mr. Ritchie's five. There was then no 
Secretary of State for India, but Mr. Dundas, President of 
the Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India, received 
^2000. WilHam Pitt did exceedingly well in the matter 
of salaries. As First Lord of the Treasury he received 
^^4000. As Chancellor of the Exchequer he had another 
^1800, whilst as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports he had 
not only Walmer Castle for a residence, but a payment of 
;^3000 a year to maintain it. 



SESSION 1902 

CHAPTER XXXIX 

FEBRUARY 

Obstruction certainly has much to boast of in its influence 
on the opening Session of the first Parliament of the 
twentieth century. With a pinchbeck Parnell o,(, s^yjg ^^^ 
in command, a rank-and-file mediocre by com- New. 
parison with the brilliant Irishman who made things lively at 
Westminster from 1875 into the early eighties, the perform- 
ance of last Session is, from a pictorial and rhetorical point 
of view, a little flat. In actual effect it will bear comparison 
with the more striking campaigns through which Mr. Joseph 
Gillis Biggar lived. Mr. Redmond's tactics, to some extent 
compelled by reforms already established by the procedure 
rules, widely differ from Mr. Parnell's. His object is to 
avoid dramatic scenes, to flout the authority of the Chair as 
far as is safe, avoiding penalty by swift subsidence and 
prompt apology at the very moment when the Speaker is 
about to rise and exert such authority as he is invested 
with. This is not magnificent, but it is effective war. 

Not many scenes disturbed the progress of last Session. 
Yet the amount of work done was exceedingly small. 
Two unheroic but effective weapons were ever t,,^ p,ag„e „| 
in the hands of the Irish members. One was Questions. 
the putting of questions ; the other, insistence on hopeless 
divisions. Last year the House sat on i i 8 days, little more 

465 3 a 



466 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1902 



than half the duration of the Session of 1893-94, which 
numbered 226 days. Nevertheless, thirty-two more divisions 
were taken, the number of questions being diminished by 
only eighty-six. 

As to questions, 6448 were handed in at the table and 
appeared on the Notice Paper, printed at the expense of 
the tax-payer. That is an inadequate statement of the 
operation of this deliberate trifling with public time. There 
were few nights during which the number of questions on 
the paper was not at least doubled by what are known as 




THE IRISH SECRETARY AND QUESTIONS. 

" supplementary questions." It is safe to say that during 
last Session at least 1 2,000 questions were addressed to 
Ministers, of which probably looo were designed v/ith the 
honest purpose of obtaining information useful to the public 
service. The triviality of the rest unfortunately does not 
mitigate their obnoxiousness. Not only do they take time 
in the putting and answering. They involve much labour 
in the departments concerned, where particulars have to be 
hunted up and replies prepared for the Ministers to read at 
the table. 

Among claims to perform certain offices in connection 



I902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 467 

with the Coronation the Court appointed by His Majesty 
found none more quaint than that of the Barons jhe 
of the Cinque Ports. They asserted the right to coronation, 
carry a canopy over the Sovereign in the procession through 
Westminster Hall, and afterwards to sit at a table spread on 
his right hand at the Coronation Banquet. The privilege is 
enshrined in a charter signed by Edward L But it is much 
older. When Henry HI. married Eleanor, daughter of 
Hugh Earl of Provence, the bold Barons from the Cinque 
Ports, arrayed in purple silk and fine linen, carried aloft 
the canopy under which the young Queen stepped on 
her passage through Westminster Hall. The claim, duly 
considered, has been disallowed, and a picturesque by-play, 
carrying a prosaic century back to Plantagenet times, will 
never more be seen in London. 

These " Honours at Court," as the business is styled in 
the charters of the Ports, were conceded within the lifetime 
of some who will read of the Coronation of King Edward 
Vn. When, on the 19th July 1821, George IV. was 
crowned, the Barons of the Cinque Ports played a brave 
part in the pageant. There were fifteen in all, representing 
Sandwich, Hastings, Hythe, Rye, Winchelsea, Romney, and 
Dover. There should have been sixteen, but Henry 
Brougham, Baron for the Port of Winchelsea, begged off. 
He had a short time previously taken a prominent part in 
the trial of Queen Caroline. When informed of the dis- 
tinguished honour awaiting him on Coronation Day the 
future Lord Chancellor wrote intimating that " in the 
peculiar circumstances in which he was placed he felt 
himself under the necessity of most respectfully soliciting 
permission to decline the distinguished honour of canopy- 
bearer." 

Happily for posterity there were, in addition to the 
Barons, the two solicitors to the Ports, John Shipden and 
William Fowle. These, in their professional .^^ „ 

^ The Barons 

capacity, accompanied the Barons, and wrote a March on 

detailed account of their adventures in London, 

which was discreetly withheld from the cognisance of the 



468 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

Court of Claims. The document was a short time ago 
found among the musty archives of the Borough of Hythe. 
The reading well rewards the trouble of deciphering the 
faded handwriting. A few days before the Coronation the 
Barons foregathered at the Thatched House Tavern, in 
St. James's Street, and arranged their plan of campaign. 
Although on business of State bent they were of frugal 
mind. Prepared to carry the canopy, they were not dis- 
posed to bear its expense. They were, therefore, the more 
punctilious in describing the article which, according to 
ancient usage, became their property at the close of the 
proceedings. They cited ancient ordinances, testifying that 
the canopy should be wrought of gold or purple silk, upon 
four silver staves. Each staff had four corners, and at each 
corner there hung a silver bell, gilt with gold. " Which 
canopy, staves and bells, the said Barons who bear them 
have been accustomed to have and take as their own fee 
for the said services." Moreover, they claimed the right of 
dining at a table in the Great Hall of Westminster when 
the King and Queen dine, at the right hand of the King 
and Queen, and to have cloth for vestments at the King's 
expense. 

A long interval followed, silence falling on the scene 
after despatch of their formal demand. Letters were written 
to the Earl Marshal, to the Home Secretary, and to the 
Lord High Chamberlain, pointing out that " the day for the 
Coronation is fast approaching, and as we have received no 
positive answer on the subject of the Barons' Table, we are 
naturally in a state of great anxiety and suspense." At one 
of the meetings an exceptionally bold Baron proposed to 
pass a resolution to the effect that unless the Barons have 
their full rights and privileges as admitted by the Court of 
Claims they will be compelled to decline the canopy service 
altogether. This was alluring. But a more puny Baron 
suggesting that possibly the opening thus proffered would be 
promptly seized and they shunted altogether, the subject 
dropped. 

It all came right in the end, except that the Barons were 



t902 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



469 



To a scarlet satin 



obliged to pay for their own vestments. These were fearfully 
and wonderfully made. To begin with, there ^. . 

•' ° , v,i._ Glorious 

were white kid shoes, above which flamed crimson Apparei. 
silk hose, with rosettes at the knee, 
doublet with gold twist buttons 
and braidings were hung scarlet 
satin sleeves, with cuffs ornamented 
with gold twist braidings and 
rosettes. A laced frill round the 
collar of the doublet was sur- 
mounted by a full standing muslin 
ruff. The trunk hose was of purple 
satin, with scarlet satin strappings 
bordered with gold twist. A tunic 
of purple satin and scarlet silk 
lining, with purple satin robings, 
was suspended from each shoulder. 
This gorgeous array was crowned 
by a black velvet Spanish hat, with 
one scarlet and two black ostrich 
feathers turned up in front by gold 
twist looped and buttoned. For 
all arms the Barons wore a dress 
sword thrust in a purple velvet belt. 

At the close of fourscore years 
the mind lingers fondly over the 
picture of Henry Brougham tem- 
porarily casting aside his famous check suit and donning this 
array. Possibly consciousness of what was in store for him 
in this direction, rather than any pricking of conscience in 
the matter of Queen Caroline, induced him to decline the 
nomination. 

At five o'clock on the morning of the Coronation the 
Barons met at Somerset House, and having, with the assist- 
ance of their retainers, got into these wondrous canny King 
clothes, they entered their barge and were rowed George, 
to Westminster Hall. There their troubles commenced. 
In vain had the solicitors importuned the authorities for 




LORD BROUGHAM AS A BARON 
OF THE CINQUE PORTS. 



470 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

permission to have a rehearsal of the duty assigned them. 
Not one of them had ever assisted in the carrying of a 
canopy. What if, upheld by unaccustomed hands, it should, 
at a critical moment, come down on the Royal pate ? Cold 
perspiration stood on the Barons' brows as they contem- 
plated this contingency. One of the officers in attendance, 
acquainted with their dilemma, suggested that as the day was 




THE BOLD BARONS AND THE CANOPY. 



yet young they might trot up and down Westminster Hall 
with the canopy. This they did, but the galleries being 
already filled, their struggles with the canopy attracted such 
embarrassing measure of attention that after staggering about 
with it for a few minutes they discreetly set it down and with- 
drew from observation. 

When in due time the Royal procession was formed and 
the Barons came along with their canopy. King George IV., 



1902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 471 

feeling that his life was too precious to the nation to be 
unnecessarily imperilled, insisted on walking in advance of 
them. If any accident happened it would be more easy to 
fill a vacancy in the Primacy, at the Home Office, or in the 
Office of the Lord High Chamberlain. The Barons, who 
were getting along pretty well considering the heat of the 
day and their new clothes, showed themselves somewhat 
piqued at this lack of confidence. His Majesty noting this, 
and concluding that things were pretty safe, on the return 
from the service in the Abbey unflinchingly walked under 
the canopy. 

What in this century is alluded to as a regrettable 
incident occurred at the banquet. The Barons found their 
promised table duly set in its consecrated position. 
Neither bit nor sup had passed their lips since 
five o'clock in the morning. Their struggles with the canopy 
had increased healthy appetite. Making a rush for their chairs 
they found one occupied by a stranger. They assured him 
there was a mistake somewhere. The table was allotted to 
them, in proof of which they showed him on the back of each 
of the fifteen chairs the legend, " Baron of the Cinque Ports." 
The stranger made light of a Baron of the Cinque Ports, 
For himself he was, he said, a Master in Chancery, was very 
hungry, and meant to stay where he was. The descendants 
and representatives of the founders of the English Navy were 
not to be trifled with. " They were," the report remarks 
with creditable reticence, " compelled to exercise a consider- 
able degree of firmness and decision before they could 
displace him." 

Soothed with meat and drink, the Barons began to think 
of their canopy, with its precious equipment of silver bells, 
purple silk, and silver staves. Before tackling the Master 
in Chancery they had deposited their precious burden in 
charge of attendants in the Hall. They were not a moment 
too soon in rushing to the rescue. The Philistines were upon 
the precious treasure, and were hacking off odd bits. The 
Barons, making a gallant rush, scattered them, and seizing 
what was left of the canopy carried it into sanctuary. 



472 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

This was first sought in the House of Commons, but, 
manoeuvre how they might, they could not get the thing 
through the doorway. It seemed as if they must sit up all 
night with the canopy, a prospect little attractive in view 
of their early rising and arduous day's work. Happily the 
British Constitution affords a last appeal in the House of 
Lords. Thither the Barons bore their precious burden, and 
to their great delight found they could wriggle it in. There 
it was left for the night, the solicitors first removing the bells, 
which, as they write, " being very portable, were too hazardous 
to be left." 

It was ten o'clock at night before the Barons wended 
their way homewards. They were up bright and early the 
next morning, and, conveying the canopy to the Thatched 
House, divided the spoil. The rich purple silk, the gold 
cloth, and the framework of the canopy were divided into 
sixteen parts, one assigned to each of the fifteen Barons. 
They drew lots for the silver staves and the gilded bells. 
The remaining sixteenth part, which should have fallen to 
the lot of Mr. Brougham, was very properly allotted to the 
solicitors, whose services to the Cinque Ports and the State 
it would be impossible to overestimate. 



CHAPTER XL 



MARCH 



Complaint is sometimes made by admirers of Sir William 
Harcourt — and they sit on both sides of the House — that 
so habile a debater, so witty a conversationalist, written 
should hamper himself with voluminous notes speeches, 
when he makes an important speech. That the precaution 
is not necessary is proved 
when on chance provoca- 
tion he flings himself into 
debate. Sir William de- 
fends his practice upon 
clearly defined principles. 
He affirms that no speech 
delivered extemporane- 
ously survives the week of 
its birth. All great orators, 
from Demosthenes, past 
Burke down to — well, to 
John Bright, have always 
first written out their 
speeches, then committed 
them to memory, and, 
possibly with the assist- 
ance of skilfully condensed 
notes, recited them. 

Going down to Lancashire in 1868 as a kind of under- 

473 




SIR W. HARCOURT S NOTES. 



474 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

study to John Bright, Sir William, not yet launched in 
politics, prospering richly at the Parliamentary Bar, had 
opportunity of observing the Master's oratorical manner. 
When he delivered one of the speeches illuminating the 
historical campaign that first placed Mr. Gladstone in power, 
he brought with him to the platform some eight, ten, or a 
dozen small cards, held in the palm of his left hand. Each 
contained headings of a division of his speech. At the top 
a catch-word or two, opening the leading sentence. His 
peroration, ever a carefully prepared effect, was written out 
verbatim. 

Sir William admits that, except in supreme cases — such 
as that of John Bright, where, as far as actual evidence went, 
the machinery of the MS. is practically out of sight of the 
audience — the immediate effect of an unstudied speech is 
greater than what follows on recitation of a carefully pre- 
pared oration. But he holds the congregation before him, 
be it large or small, as a secondary concern compared with 
the multitude listening at the doors. For that wider circle, 
peradventure for posterity, it is worth while to take pains 
with a speech. Composing one in the quietness and solitude 
of the study has, he insists, a double advantage. It not 
only enables a man to place in effective order his line of 
argument, causing him to say what he has to say in the 
best form of words. It delivers him from the danger lurk- 
ing in the heat of extemporaneous speaking, of saying what 
he had better have left unsaid. 

These, the slowly-formed opinions of one of the greatest 
Parliamentary and platform speakers of the last quarter of 

Hang the nineteenth century, compel respectful attention. 
Posterity. Having siven it, I do not think a statesman of 
to-day need trouble himself much as to what posterity will 
think of the speech he is contemplating. Most of us 
probably have in our bookcases the speeches of Burke and 
Bright. I am not sure we frequently find time to read them. 
Sufficient to the day are the speeches thereof. With respect 
to the Man in the Street (who has perforce remained there 
whilst a speech was delivered in Parliament or on the plat- 



1902 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT^ 



475 



form) it is undoubtedly an advantage that an address should 
be prepared on Sir William Harcourt's plan. As far as the 
immediate audience is concerned and the effect wrought 
upon it is valued, an imperfect speech flashed forth in the 
heat of the moment is worth far more than a perfect oration 
painstakingly produced in the study. This is more especially 
the case in debate in the House of Commons, where, indeed, 
the reading of written speeches is considerately, but not 
always effectively, forbidden. 

Mr. Disraeli prepared his great oratorical efforts with 
the painstaking care that marks the system of his former 
young friend, Mr. Vernon Harcourt. There was a gome modern 
gentleman on the Parliamentary staff of the Times instances, 
who had a good deal to do with Mr. Disraeli's platform 
triumphs. When preparing for one he invited Mr. Neilson 
to stay with him, whether 
at Hughenden or his town 
address, and rehearsed his 
speech. The first draft, 
taken down in shorthand, 
was studied by the master 
of impromptus, here and 
there fresh effects tried, and, 
finally, the whole thing was 
fairly written out before 
Mr. Disraeli stepped on the 
platform. Mr. Neilson, 
following the MS. before 
him, made such verbal 
alterations, addenda, or 
elimination as circumstances 
demanded for his report. 

This was very well at certain political crises. But those 
familiar with Disraeli's manner in the House of Commons 
after he assumed the Leadership will remember how dreary 
were long stretches of his speech when they passed beyond 
the limits of an hour ; how pointed and potent his contribu- 
tions to debate wrapped within the limits of twenty minutes. 




■ REHEARSING. 



476 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

When Mr. Gladstone was called upon for sustained 

effort, on explaining one of his Budgets or in introducing 

one of his epoch-making Bills, he necessarily 

Mr. Gladstone. , , , , . i. td *. i.u 

had more or less volummous notes. But they 
were the meagre skeleton of his oration, head-lines pointing 
to division of subject or containing rows of figures. He 
never read a sentence, much less a passage, from the MS. 
Some of his most delightful House of Commons speeches 
were delivered on Tuesday or Friday evening, when private 
members still had the privilege of moving resolutions or 
pressing forward Bills. At such times, leaning on the desk, 
he, without raising his voice beyond conversational pitch, 
chatted to the charmed circle. On more important occasions, 
when a sudden turn had twisted debate, he was accustomed 
to spring up obviously, necessarily, without a moment's 
preparation and pour forth a torrent of persuasive argument. 
Towards the end of last Session a rumour ran through 
the House of Commons that the King intended to pay a 
^^ „. visit to Westminster, and was expected to look 

The King ' '■ 

and in at the House of Lords during the course of 

Parliament, ^j^^ sitting. Nothing came of it, and what was 
looked forward to as a notable spectacle was withheld from 
the gaze of spectators. 

Some denied the probability of the rumour being verified 
on the ground that it would be unconstitutional for the 
Sovereign to be present in either House of Parliament whilst 
debate was going forward. That may be so ; but there 
is certainly precedent for such procedure. Charles II. 
frequently sat in the House of Lords whilst debate was 
going forward. " It was," he graciously said, " better than 
going to a play," which suggests that noble lords were 
livelier in Stuart days than in these degenerate times. 
Writing in 1670, when the Merry Monarch dropped in on 
the peers, not even hoping he did not intrude, Andrew 
Marvell observes : " It is true this has been done long ago. 
But it is now so old that it is new, and so disused that at 
any other but so bewitched a time as this it would have 
been looked on as a high usurpation and breach of privilege." 



1902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 477 

The last time King Charles was present at debate in 
the House of Lords was in the Session of 1680, The 
sturdy Commons had passed a Bill excluding the Duke of 
York from reversion to the throne on the ground that he 
was a Papist. The House of Lords, after a fashion not 
unknown in modern times, flouting the deliberate purpose 
of the representatives of the people, threw out the Bill. 
The King sat out the debate, enjoying it so much that he 
not only dined in the House, but stayed for supper. 

Whilst still Prince of Wales, Edward VH. showed keen 
and abiding interest in Parliamentary debate. Twenty years 
ago, when the Parnellites were in full force, he rarely passed 
a week without spending an hour or two in the Gallery over 
the clock. 

Of late years, the House of Commons becoming por- 
tentously dull under the wet blanket of an overwhelming 
Ministerial majority, His Royal Highness was an infrequent 
visitor to the House of Commons. But if in town he rarely 
missed an important debate in the Lords. He never took 
part in debate, nor voted in any division save one. 
Exception was made in favour of the Deceased Wife's Sister 
Bill, in whose favour His Royal Highness always voted, 
occasionally presenting a petition on its behalf. 

Whilst it is not probable that His Majesty will recur to 
the practice of Charles H. and attend debates in the Lords, 
he may be counted upon to bring closer the personal 
relations between the Sovereign and Parliament which 
lapsed through long stages of the last reign. He will not 
only regularly open Parliament in person, but will doubtless 
revive the custom in vogue when Queen Victoria came to 
the throne of proroguing it without the agency of a Royal 
Commission. 

1 hear from one who speaks with authority (not, like 
myself, one of the scribes) that the amount of 
personalty left by Queen Victoria did not exceed victoria's 
iJ^8oo,ooo. This will be a shock to the slowly Private 

1 M • • r 1 1 , » Fortune. 

built-up convictions of those who regarded her 

late Majesty as one of the richest Sovereigns in Europe. It 



478 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

certainly is at variance with conclusions founded on acknow- 
ledged facts. When, on the Queen's Accession, the Civil List 
was settled it was based on a most liberal estimate. To a 
Committee of the House of Commons were remitted the 
accounts of income and expenditure of the Civil List of 
William IV. in the last full year of his reign. The charges 
incurred in various departments were gone through, and with 
slight variations the aggregate sum was allotted for the Civil 
List of the Girl-Queen. 

How this worked is illustrated by the vote for the Lord 
Chamberlain's department. The Committee discovered that 
tradesmen's bills paid by the Lord Chamberlain amounted 
exactly to i^4 1,898. William IV.'s successor being a lady 
they chivalrously made the sum the round figure of ;^4 2,000. 
In the way of addition that was quite immaterial. But as 
appears on the face of the accounts, the expenditure in this 
particular department was quite exceptional. William IV., 
looking forward to further length of years, spent large sums 
on renovating his residence. Exceptional expenditure, 
divided amongst upholsterers, cabinetmakers, locksmiths, 
ironmongers, joiners, and the like, amounted to over 
^20,000. By the action of the House of Commons 
Committee that sum was permanently allotted as additional 
annual subsidy to the Lord Chamberlain's department under 
the new Sovereign. 

Embarrassment of riches — afflicting other departments 
when, on the death of the Prince Consort, Queen Victoria 
retired into private life — was averted by an ingenious 
automatic arrangement. It was ordered that wherever 
surpluses presented themselves in particular departments 
the money should be handed over to the keeper of the Privy 
Purse. The sum, whatever its varying amount might be, 
was during the twenty years after the death of the Prince 
Consort, when ceremonial usages involving expenditure 
specially provided were abrogated, added to the ^60,000 a 
year allotted by the Civil List to the Queen's Privy Purse. 

In 1873 the swelling of many rivulets leading into this 
reservoir became so embarrassing that a special Act of 



I902 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



479 



Parliament was passed for its relief. Under the Statute 
law then existing the Sovereign was precluded from holding 
hereditary property. TREA5uKy 

i hecaseis succmctly 
and authoritatively 
stated by Sir George 
Cornewall Lewis, 
Chancellor of the 
Exchequer in 1857. 
Supporting a vote 
for a dowry for the 
Princess Royal, Sir 
George did so on 
the specific ground 
that the nation had 
of its wisdom de- 
prived the Queen of 
a parent's oppor- 
tunity for making 
such provision. " It 
has been deemed a 
matter of policy in this country," said Sir George, " to strip 
and denude the Sovereign of all hereditary property, and 
to render him during his life entirely dependent upon the 
bounty of Parliament." In 1873 Mr. Gladstone changed 
all that, adding to the Statute-book what was called " The 
Crown Private Estates Act." This enabled the Sovereign 
to invest his or her savings after the manner of the private 
citizen. 




SIR GEORGE CORNEWALL LEWIS. 



CHAPTER XLI 

APRIL 

Sometimes, as when one night last Session the Irish 
members, blundering into open conflict with the Chair, were 
Comfort from Carried out by the police vi et arinis, we hang 
Vienna. Qur heads and murmur that the Mother of 
Parliaments exceeds all her children in disgraceful conduct. 
There is, therefore, a certain comfort in contemplating the 
Austro- Hungarian Reichsrath. That occasionally excels all 
else on the same lines, not excepting a meeting of Irish 
members in Committee-room No. i 5 rehearsing proceedings 
in a Home Rule Parliament. 

Mr. Biggar once made a speech four hours long — four 
hours all but ten minutes. This achievement beats the 
record in the House of Commons. Mark Twain tells me 
that four years ago, when he was sojourning in Vienna, he 
attended a sitting of the Reichsrath which lasted for thirty- 
three hours, during which a member spoke for twelve hours. 
Mr, Biggar's achievement was made possible by the dreary, 
sometimes inaudible, reading of a Blue-book. The German 
deputy's speech was, according to the American stranger in 
the gallery, a skilfully-constructed argument supported by 
felicitous illustrations. 

The occasion was an attempt by the Government to 
advance by an imperatively necessary stage a Bill continuing 
the settlement between Austria and Hungary. The Opposi- 
tion resolved to bring about a crisis by obstruction, and the 

480 



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481 



deputy's twelve-hour monologue was a contribution towards 
that end. The main body of the Opposition obliged with a 
running commentary, in which such phrases as " contemptible 
cub," " word-of-honour-breaker," " Jew," " East German offal- 
tub," "scoundrel," "blackguard," and even our own "Judas" 
— signal for an ever- memorable row on the floor of the 
House of Commons — were flung about. The President 




CARRYING MR. FLAVIN OUT. 



being of Polish birth was in comparative intervals of silence 
saluted as " Polish dog." One statesman invented a new 
legislative process. Each member of the Reichsrath is 
provided with a desk with a removable cover that may at 
will be extended. Withdrawing this, the member began 
beating the lid on the top of his desk, an example speedily 
followed, with deafening results. 

Meanwhile the hapless President contributed to the 

2 I 



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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1902 



uproar the impotent ringing of his bell. He has absolutely 
A Tower ^^ powcr to Order the removal of a recalcitrant 
of Babel, member, or by other means preserve decorum in 
debate. That would be bad enough in the House of 
Commons, still imbued, as the majority of its members are, 
with respect for traditions and a wholesome fear of public 
opinion outside. With a body composed as is the Austrian 
Reichsrath the impotence of the Chair is a superfluous 
invitation to disorder. The 425 deputies who form the 

Chamber are drawn from a score of 
States all hating each other for love 
of the Emperor. 

In the House of Commons a 
Welsh member once concluded his 
speech by a passage delivered in his 
native tongue. Last Session an Irish 
member imitated the flash of humour. 
The Austrian Reichsrath is filled by 
excitable men representing nations 
that speak eleven distinct languages. 
Apart from nationalities the various 
political parties into which the 
Chamber is split — German National- 
ists, Young Czechs, Progressists, Cleri- 
cals, Christian Socialists, Social 
Democrats — each fights for its own 
hand. The only effort in which 
common action may be expected is 
when a row is got up with design 
to obstruct the business of the day. 
Let us humbly think of these things when Mr. Flavin is 
carried forth by the police, or when Mr. W. Redmond 
gurgles inconsequent but not flattering remarks as he 
accidentally catches sight of Mr. Chamberlain. 




WILLIE REDMOND CATCHES 
SIGHT OF MR. CHAMBERLAIN 



Lord Onslow tells me a charming story of his experience 
as Governor of New Zealand. Visiting a remote district, he 
entered the village hall with intent to perform whatever 



1902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 483 

function was to the fore. As he stepped on the platform 
the familiar strains of " God Save the Queen " 

1 rrcDrcssiblc 

greeted Her Majesty's representative. The 
whole audience rose to their feet, the Governor and the 
magnates on the platform also standing in reverential 
attitude. The sound of the instrument was unfamiliar in this 
connection. The music was not uplifted from a drum and 
fife band or wrung out of a barrel-organ, though its strains 
somewhat resembled those emitted by that instrument of 
torture. 

When the tune had been got through, the gathering on the 
platform and in the body of the hall rustled into their seats. 
Suddenly, to the consternation of everybody, there was an 
ominous click, and " God Save the Queen " started again 
from the commencement. Thinking there was some mistake 
the audience rose again, respectfully standing till the second 
round was concluded. Again reseating themselves, the click 
was repeated, and so was " God Save the Queen." 

This was too much, and none knew how much more there 
might be. The anguished Mayor diving under the table 
produced a large box which he handed to a fellow-townsman, 
who, wrapping a tablecloth round it, hurried from the 
room. 

It was a musical-box, thoughtfully provided for the 
occasion. The machinery had got out of order, and being 
wound up it was bound to play the same tune till the springs 
ran out. Indeed, before the bearer reached the door the 
click was heard, followed by " God Save the Queen," the 
muffled tones, struggling under the tablecloth, dying away in 
the distance. 

I remember a somewhat similar accident ruffling the 
temper of the late Duke of Teck. He was present at one 
of the City Companies' dinners, I think it was ^^ ^J^^^^^ 
the Needlemakers', and it fell to his lot to rupted speech. 
propose the health of the Queen. Rising in fine form, the 
Duke, uplifting his glass, said : " Gentlemen, I give you a 
toast to the health of Her Most Gracious Majesty the 
Queen." 



484 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

He paused a moment with glass uplifted, looking with 
gracious smile round the crowded tables. The watchful 
bandmaster in the gallery, concluding that was all, gave the 
signal, and the band vigorously played " God Save the 
Queen." 

I never saw the Duke so angry. Turning towards the 
gallery he shouted " No ! no ! " shaking his fist at the back 
of the bandmaster. That was the worst of it. The 
conductor's back being turned and the bandsmen diligently 
keeping their eye on his baton, some moments elapsed before 
they realised the situation and abruptly stopped the tune. 

Then the Duke continued what proved to be a speech 
of exceptional elaboration, evolved in the study at White 
Lodge. But it never quite recovered from the shock that 
almost killed it at its birth. 

It is among things not generally known that the Nasmyth 

hammer of the House of Commons, which can split a 

massive steel bar or crack a walnut, minutely 

Hotel Bills ' _ ■' 

by Act of orders the scale of payment for soldiers when 
ar lamen . |-jjj|g^g(] upon Hccnscd Victuallers in pursuance of 
the Army Act. The prices are scheduled in the Army Bill, 
which is renewed every year. For lodging and attendance 
in houses where a hot meal is furnished the soldier pays a 
maximum sum of 4d. a night. For the hot meal (the 
component parts whereof are sternly specified in Part I. of 
the second schedule of the Army Act) is. 3|^d. is allowed. 
That seems pretty liberal, but the average is struck with 
breakfast, for which only i|^d. is paid. Where no hot meal 
is furnished, 4d. a day may be charged. This payment 
includes candles, vinegar, salt, use of fire, and the necessary 
utensils for dressing and eating the soldier's meat. 

On the higher scale the allowance per day for a soldier 
foots up to IS. 9d. per head. Exactly the same sum per 
diem is allowed for the soldier's horse. For that sum he (the 
horse) is to have lolb. of oats, i 2lb. of hay, and 81b. of straw, 
and his master must see that he gets it. For an officer the 
maximum charge for lodging and attendance is 2s. a night. 



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Officers are left to make their own arrangements with respect 
to their food. 

There are other curious things about the Army Act. 
According to the Constitution it is against the law to raise 
A Crisis ^^ keep a standing army 
averted. within the United King- 
dom in time of peace unless it be with 
the consent of Parliament. So jealous 
is the Legislature on the subject that 
it will give such consent for no longer 
a period than twelve months. The 
Act passed last Session remains in 
force in the United Kingdom, the 
Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man 
up to the 30th day of April. If before 
that date the Act be not renewed, 
chaos would come. The Army being 
an illegal institution, the chains of 
discipline would be snapped. Tommy 
Atkins, like his colonel, would revert 
to the state of a simple citizen, might 
walk out of barracks and go home to 
tea, none daring to make him afraid. 

In the general muddle of business 
in the House of Commons last Session 
the renewal of the Army Act was run perilously close to the 
ultimate possible date, and the Twelve O'clock Rule had to 
be suspended in order to make sure of carrying it through at 
a particular sitting. 




^^5^ 



TOMMY ATKINS REVERTING 
TO CIVILIAN LIFE. 



There is nothing so precious as the kindness of an old 
friend. When Mr. John Morley was approaching his great 
task, the record of the life of Mr, Gladstone, How to write a 
one of his old Cabinet colleagues ^ cheered him Biograpiiy. 
with assurance of success. But he felt constrained to make 
conditions. 

' Don't touch the ecclesiastical side of Gladstone, because 

^ Sir William Harcourt. 



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1902 



you have no sympathy with it. Don't deal with his finance, 
because you know nothing about it. Avoid all reference to 
his Home Rule campaign, because you know too much. 
These conditions observed, you'll make an interesting, 
valuable contribution to biography." 

With reference to the Great Seal, a correspondent sends 

me an interesting and authoritative note. " The Seal in use 

The Great ^^ ^^^ ^^"^^ y°" wrote," he tells me, " was not the 

Seal. one made for the late Queen on her accession. 
A new pair of dies were made somewhere about i860, and 
I believe (but am not sure) another new pair about the time 




THE REAL GREAT SEAL. 



of the assumption of the title Empress of India, about 1876. 
Further, there is no collection of Great Seals in the Tower 
or elsewhere. There is, I believe, a complete collection of 
impressions of the Seals of all the English monarchs in the 
British Museum ; but the original Seals (the dies) were in 
former times damasked by being broken to pieces with a 
smith's hammer in the presence of the King, the fragments 
becoming the property of the Keeper for the time being. 
In more recent times the damasking has been done by a 
gentle tap with a hammer administered by the Sovereign, 
the Seal itself becoming the perquisite of the Keeper, who is 
the Lord Chancellor. Damasked Great Seals have generally 
been set in salvers, one pair of dies serving for two salvers. 
References to such salvers will be found in the wills of 
several deceased Chancellors. 



I902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 487 

" Another perquisite of the Keeper of the Great Seal is 
the crimson silk purse in which the Seal is kept and borne 
before the Chancellor.' A new one is provided yearly, and 
the disused ones are retained by the fortunate Keeper. The 
frugal wife of Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, in the eighteenth 
century, collected enough purses during her husband's long 
tenure of the Seals to furnish a complete set of hangings for 
her State bed. 

" The Great Seal cast by James IL into the Thames 
was not permanently lost. It was, after several months, 
fished by chance out of the river in a fisherman's net, none 
the worse for its bath, and was damasked in the ordinary 
course." 

One of the oldest (of course, I mean the most deeply 
rooted in popular affection) of the actresses of to-day ^ tells 
me she has never got over the tendency to stage 
fright. First nights are to her as severe ordeals ^^* "^ 
as they were before a long succession marked the stages of 
unvarying triumph. 

It is a fact well known to those of her immediate 
entourage that Queen Victoria, after sixty years of public 
life, never got over a feeling of nervousness whenever she 
took part in a public ceremonial. I well remember an 
occasion when Her Majesty capitulated to this strange 
influence. It was on the occasion of the opening of the 
Royal Courts of Justice on the 4th of December 1882. 
The stately hall was packed with the most distinguished 
representatives of politics, literature, art, science, and society. 
The well-ordered ceremonial culminated in the moment 
when the Queen was to declare the building open. 

As it approached, those seated close by the dais observed 
Her Majesty in a state of profound unrest. She beckoned 
to the Home Secretary, and as he bent over her chair 
addressed him with considerable animation. The impression 
of those looking on was that something had gone wrong 
and that Sir William Harcourt was getting a wigging. Sir 

1 Miss Ellen Terry. 



488 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

William tells me that what happened was that the Queen, 
suddenly attacked by access of stage fright, sent for him, 
told him she was not able to utter the brief sentence 
assigned to her part, and commissioned him to do it in 
her name. 

Looking back over the files of the Times I find the 
incident thus reported in the issue of the 5th December 
1882: "After a moment's consultation with the Queen, 
Sir William Harcourt said he had Her Majesty's commands 
to declare the building open." 

Last Session, dull in most aspects, was little relieved by 
those flashes of undesigned humour for which a bored House 
is rapturously grateful. I recall one or two. 
In Committee on the Army Estimates Mr. 
O'Mara threw the great weight of his opinion against the 
War Office scheme for the defence of London by the erection 
of fortifications. 

" Your Navy is your only defence," he said. " If the 
Navy temporarily left the seas " 

What would happen in the event of the British Navy 
being drawn up and absorbed in the clouds, or taking to 
land pursuits, will never be known, the burst of laughter 
that broke in on the suggestion preventing the prophet from 
concluding his forecast. 

It was another Irish member who, observing the Chief 
Secretary rising to reply to a question on the paper, 
hurriedly interposed with the remark, " I hope the right hon. 
gentleman will not reply till I have put another question 
arising out of his answer." 

A prolific breeder of bulls is Mr. W. Redmond. Giving 
an account of his conversation with Mr. Kruger shortly after 
strained ^^ \i2.di, with patriotic purpose, paid him a visit 
Affection, jn his Continental home, he told how the ex- 
President, learning that his visitor represented County Clare, 
surmised that his constituents were not in favour of the war 
against the Boers. 

"I said to him," Mr. Redmond reported, "'Why, Mr. 



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489 



Disappointing: 
an Audience. \va,S 



President, if you were to come to County Clare the people 
would hug you to death.' " 

What reply Oom Paul made to this enticing description 
of the fate that 
awaited him in 
County Clare was 
not included in Mr. 
Redmond's narra- 
tive. We know, 
however, the wary 
ex - President did 
not go. 

Of another kind 
of unconscious 
humour 
was a 
parenthetical sen- 
tence in one of Mr. 
Lough's not infre- 
quent contributions 
to debate on current 
topics. The pink 
of courtesy, the 
member for Islington 
is ornately deferential to his audience, even when it is crying 
" 'Vide, 'vide, 'vide ! " Having on this particular occasion 
set forth his argument at some length he remarked : " If I 
may, with the permission of the Committee for one moment, 
go outside " 

A hearty cheer welcomed the suggestion. Members 
knew that if Mr. Lough left the House, even for a moment, 
the Chairman would call on another member. The pleasing 
prospect was but short lived. Mr. Lough did not mean to 
be taken literally. He merely proposed to enlarge his 
pastures, temporarily straying beyond the boundary of the 
subject before the Committee. 




WILLIE REDMOND HUGS MR. KRUGER. 



It is so long since Lord Cork came into his earldom 



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1902 



that people have forgotten he once sat in the House of 
Commons. Of that episode his lordship preserves vivid 

memory. jhe 

Talking Dinner=hour. 

about the proposed 
alteration of the sit- 
ting of the House so 
as to have a fixed 
dinner - hour, Lord 
Cork tells me that 
fifty years ago, when 
he was a member, 
there was no such 
thing as dining on 
the premises. This 
for the sufficient 
reason that there was 
no accommodation. 
Between half - past 
seven and eight 
members went off 
home, at their club, or at a friend's house, 
the interval was the recognised opportunity 
members to flesh their maiden swords. The 
not inspiriting, and was seldom attended by a 




MR. THOMAS LOUGH. 



to dine at 
Meanwhile 
for young 
period was 
quorum. 

At the present time what is known as the dinner-hour 
fully shares the characteristic of dulness and the benches are 
equally desolate. To attempt a count-out proves irresistible 
to mischievous members. Mr. Joseph Gillis Biggar, preserv- 
ing native habits of dining at one o'clock in the afternoon 
and taking a high tea about seven, was accustomed, at the 
conclusion of the latter meal, to hover about the dining-rooms 
waiting till the tables were crowded and, for choice, the fish 
about to be served. The soup might keep hot. The fish 
handed round in portions would seriously suffer by a quarter 
of an hour's delay. The moment thus chosen, Mr. Biggar 
returned to the House and moved a count. Of course a 



I902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 491 

quorum was forthcoming, but the Saxon had been hurried at 
his meal and his fish was spoiled. 

In the days when Lord Cork sat in the Commons a 
count moved in the dinner-hour would inevitably succeed, 
since there was no dining-room and no reserve of members. 
Accordingly it became a point of honour that no count 
should be moved between eight and ten o'clock. At ten 
o'clock, when members streamed in from dinner, the real 
business of the sitting began, and was carried on far into the 
night. 



CHAPTER XLII 

MAY 

One of my earliest recollections of the House of Commons, 

a fascinating study, was Mr. Newdegate,^ member for North 

Warwickshire, a constituency he represented for 

An Old Tory. "^ . , - , , 

nearly forty years. He was one of the first old 
stagers to claim a corner seat. It was the fourth below the 
gangway. Thence, through the changing years, his solemn 
figure loomed on the right of the Speaker if the Conserva- 
tives were in ; on the left if, for its sins, the country was 
bestridden by Mr. Gladstone and his colleagues. 

Mr. Newdegate would have been notable in any company. 
Without affectation of peculiar dress, his presence suggested 
reminiscence of the English gentleman of the pre- Victorian 
epoch. His constant companion was a voluminous red silk 
bandana — " his nearest approach to contact with the Scarlet 
Woman," as was said of him a quarter of a century ago. 
When speaking, he held the handkerchief in his hand and 
waved it in the face of the foe. Having concluded his 
speech, he rolled the bandana up ball-shape, and held as 
much of it as his hand would cover rested on his knee. 

When in the Parliament of 1880 the Conservatives 
crossed over to the Opposition side, the Irish members 
retained their seats below the gangway, and Mr. Newdegate, 
changing places, found himself in their midst. 

It was an odd fate, like others, borne with monumental 

1 Died 1887. 

492 



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gravity. It was his duty, once a year, to move the second 

reading of a Bill authorising State inspection of conventual 

institutions. This drove 

the Irish Catholics into 

paroxysms of indignation, 

and drew from Major 

O'Gorman the memorable 

speech that established his 

reputation. The Bill thrown 

out, their old feeling of 

kindly esteem for this 

typical Protestant Tory 

revived. Whenever he 

rose, save when he had his 

Conventual Bill in hand, 

the Irish members hailed 

him with a boisterous 

cheer. 

There was a story told 
in " Gosset's Room " how 
Mr. Newdegate for a full 
hour, all unconsciously, 
filled the place of the Irish 
Leader. When one night 
he rose from the corner 
seat there was the customary cheer from the Irish benches 
below him. 

" Who's that ? " asked a stranger in the gallery. 

His neighbour, equally ignorant, but capable of putting 
two and two together, noting the cheer, felt it would be 
evoked by only one man in that part of the House. " It's 
Parnell," he answered. 

The whisper went round the crowded gallery, whose 
occupants looked down with fresh interest at the solemn 
figure uttering lamentation and woe from the corner seat. 

Mr. Newdegate's life was made gloomy by the Pope. 
He saw His Holiness's hand stretched forth in all directions, 
working evil small and great. By a strange coincidence, a 




MAJOR O GORMAN, 



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1902 



contemporary, Mr. Whalley, was equally apprehensive of 
the Jesuits. The House listening to the speech 
Mr. Whalley. ^^ q[^;]^qj. member wickedly waited for the inevit- 
able alternative reference, and was rarely disappointed. 

By a not unfamiliar impulse of 
human nature in certain circumstances, 
these estimable gentlemen each thought 
the other was slightly cracked, and 
spoke pitifully of his prevailing illusion. 
One night, Mr. Whalley having alluded 
slightingly to the member for North 
Warwickshire's craze, Mr. Newdegate 
brought the House down by confiding 
to it his lugubrious conviction that 
Mr. Whalley was a Jesuit in disguise. 

What I did not know at the time 
about Mr. Newdegate is that he was 
among the very few mem- ^ cromweiiian 
bers of the House of Com- Newdegate. 
mons whose family connection with the 
place went back in direct line to the 
MR. WHALLEY AS IMAGINED days of Cromwcll. His ancestor was 

BY MR. NEWDEGATE. tito' ._-m i'». U r 

Mr. Serjeant Newdigate, member for 
Tamworth in 1660. Cromwell made him a judge. Not 
being sufficiently obsequious to please the Lord Protector, 
he was removed from the Bench and returned to his former 
practice at the Bar. At the Restoration the ex-judge was 
made a baronet, and died full of honours in the seventy- 
seventh year of his age. 

He was succeeded by his son Richard, who came into 
possession of the family estates at Arbury in Warwickshire, 
and Harefield in Middlesex. These descended to our old 
friend, who, like his far-off kinsman, Sir Richard, used to 
come up to Westminster from Arbury to attend the sitting 
of the House of Commons. 

There has lately been discovered at Arbury a collection 
of MS. News-Letters written to Sir Richard Newdigate (he 
spelt his name with an i), dated from 1675 to 17 12. Also 




I902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 495 

the wreck of a private Diary icept by Sir Richard during 
the busier years of his life, including his member- p^^pg ^^ ^^e 
ship of the House of Commons. Doubtless the Past- 
original work contained descriptions of events in Parliament 
and in the political world outside it that would be invaluable 
to-day. When Charles II. was on the throne it was not 
judicious to keep on the premises written documents relating 
to public affairs. At some crisis Sir Richard tore out whole 
sheets of his Diary and mutilated others, with the result that 
they contain little of political interest. 

But the News-Letters, the London Correspondence of 
Stuart days, remain intact and throw many side-lights on 
life in Merrie England in the days of Charles II. Here is 
a glimpse of Nell Gwynne photographed in the street : 
" Madame Gwynne is said to wager very highly at races and 
cockpits, and one morning in a frolic she clothed herself in 
man's apparel with a horseman's coat, etc., and meeting the 
King saluted him, at which His Majesty and Court were 
very well pleased." 

Later, we come on the following item : " Madame 
Gwynne's mother was found drowned in a ditch near the 
Noah houses by Chelsea, and last night was privately buried 
in St. Margaret's." If, as appears probable, this is St. 
Margaret's, Westminster, members of the House of Commons 
will be interested to find fresh connection between their 
parish church and the storied past. 

Political conviction took strange turns with gentlemen 
about the Merry Monarch's Court. " On Sunday night," it 
is written in one of the News-Letters, upon which Sir 
Richard Newdigate lavished a subscription of twenty-five 
shillings a quarter, " the Lord Kingston and Lord Hunsdon 
went from Will's Coffee House to Peter's in Covent Garden to 
affront the Whigs, where they looked about the room and cried, 

' D the Whigs for rogues,' etc. But nobody speaking to 

them they took hold of one party, a tailor, as he was going, and 
asked him whether he was a Whig or a Tory, and he crying 
' A Whig ' they burnt his periwig, and Billingsley kicked him 
down stairs, of which he threatens to complain to the council." 



496 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

There is a gruesome story showing how the hangman, 
approaching the gallows to do his duty, came near by being 
hung. Two villains convicted of murder at Hertford Assizes 
were sentenced to be hung in chains at Barnet. " While the 
executioner was busy in fastening the rope on the gibbet, 
Bungay, one of the malefactors, unloosing his hands with 
his teeth, took off the rope from his own neck and dexter- 
ously put it over the executioner's head, got astride on the 
gibbet, thrust away the ladder, and had certainly hanged 
him had not the rope been somewhat entangled in one part 
of his hat, which occasioned him to drop through ; and it 
was well-nigh an hour (he defending himself from their 
assaults) before he could be got down and executed." 

Since Saul was observed *' also among the prophets " 
there has been no such strange sight as the member for 
Mr. Caldwell Mid-Lanarkshire seated on the Treasury Bench 
enjoys himself, bossing the collcagucs of Lord Salisbury. As 
soon as Private Bill legislation gets into swing it may be 
seen every day. Mr. Caldwell's proper place is immediately 
behind the Front Opposition Bench, in close proximity to the 
Chair, so that he may keep his eye on the Speaker ; immedi- 
ately opposite the Treasury Bench, so that he may correct 
Mr, Balfour on points of order ; immediately behind Sir H. 
Campbell-Bannerman, who, amid much tribulation, is con- 
scious of a feeling of strength and security born of the 
knowledge that Mr. Caldwell's knees are in close contiguity 
to his back. 

The member for Mid -Lanark takes his seat on the 
Treasury Bench in virtue of his office as Chairman of the 
Private Bill Committee. The office, though obscure by 
comparison with that of the Colonial Secretary, is indis- 
pensable to the progress of legislation. Some one must 
formally move the early stages of private Bills and watch 
over the full course of unopposed ones. The promoters, 
not being members of the House, have no locus standi. It 
would be a waste of time and trouble to tack on members 
of the House to each Bill. Accordingly the Chairman of 



I902 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



497 



the Private Bill Committee undertakes the duty, and from 
time immemorial it has been the usage that he shall conduct 
the operation from the Treasury Bench. 

To see Mr. Caldwell at work is refreshing even in the 
summer solstice. He sits on the extreme edge of the 
bench, with the breadth of his frock-coat carefully wrapped 
about his legs, to prevent possible contamination from 




MR. CALDWELL AT WORK. 



contact with a Unionist Secretary of State for India and 
his colleague, the President of the Local Government Board, 
who frequent this section of the Treasury Bench. In the 
course of the performance Mr. Caldwell makes many 
speeches. His poignant regret is that they are necessarily 
brief. The Clerk at the table, reading down the list of 
private Bills, cites them severally, also the proposal that 
they be read a first time or a second time. Mr. Caldwell 
raises his hat in token that he makes the motion, his uttered 
speech being limited to naming a day for the next stage. 
The process may seem monotonous, especially when, as 
sometimes happens, it runs through a quarter of an hour or 
twenty minutes. But the bustling importance Mr. Caldwell 

2 K 



498 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

throws into the business, the stern glance he keeps on the 
Clerk, the effective manner in which he resents furtive 
attempts by Lord George Hamilton and Mr. Walter Long 
to edge him off the seat, invest the episode with peculiar 
and irresistible charm. 

The selection of a Chairman of Ways and Means widely 
differs from the ceremony that marks the election of a 

Speaker. The latter is a full- ^^^ ^.^^j^_ 
dress affair, the occasion of man of 

. , , , , , . Committees. 

considerable speech - makmg. 
It is carried out in accordance with pre- 
cedent, going back to the earliest days of 
Parliamentary history. It is quite possible 
for the selection of the Speaker's Deputy 
to be accomplished without the observant 
stranger in the gallery knowing that any- 
thing unusual has happened. No notice 
is necessary, nor is there any preparation 
for ceremonial. The first time a new 
Parliament gets into Committee of Supply 
the Leader of the House, half-rising from 
the Treasury Bench, casually observes, " I 
move that Mr. Lowther " — Mr. Courtney, 
or whomsoever may be the person selected 
— "take the chair." The motion is not 
seconded, nor is the question put. The 
'"'depTtvTpeIker''''' Speaker promptly retires, and the new 

Chairman of Ways and Means, who by 
unvarying good-fortune is at this moment found arrayed in 
evening dress, seated at the end of the Treasury Bench, steps 
into the chair at the table vacated by the Clerk of the 
House. 

It is not good form to make any demonstration. The 
new Chairman, seizing hold of the Estimates, puts the first 
vote as if he had been engaged on similar business all his 
life, and discussion goes forward in Committee. Like the 
Speaker, the Chairman is appointed for the duration of the 




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LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



499 



Parliament. His salary is ^^2500, just half that of the 
Speaker. Unlike the Speaker, residence, stately or otherwise, 
is not attached to the office. On the other hand, the position 
of Chairman of Ways and Means is free from encumbrance 
of heavy expense that attaches to the dignity of the 
Speaker. 

Something akin to the plain business-like procedure in 

the election of Chairman of Ways and Means is found in 

, , the installation of 

Secretaries 

to the Secretaries to the 

Treasury. -^r nru 

Ireasury. ihese 
are two in number — the 
Financial Secretary, who has 
charge of the business of the 
House of Commons and is 
usually an understudy to the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
and the Patronage Secretary, 
a style now a misnomer. Sir 
William Walrond, the present 
incumbent of the office, sleeps 
o' nights with the glad assur- 
ance that he has no patronage 
at his disposal to be squabbled 
for. Although officially known 
as the Patronage Secretary, his 
more familiar style is that of "«• austen chamberlain, financial 

_, . ^ ,^Ti • SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY. 

Chief Whip. 

Mr. Gladstone, by the way, in the full flush of reforming 
impulse, at one time proposed to add a third Secretary to 
the Treasury staff. This was in i S66, and was inevitable 
part of a large scheme of Treasury reform that Queen Anne, 
has remained in abeyance. Mr. Gladstone's impulse was 
checked by discovery that such an office could not be made 
practically useful without passing a special Act. 

The particular lion in the path was the VI. of Queen 
Anne, which forbade any Ministerial office subsequently 
created to be held with a seat in Parliament. As it was an 




500 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

essential part of Mr. Gladstone's plan that the proposed 
new Secretary should have a seat in the House of Commons, 
and as with the Parliamentary Reform Bill in hand he could 
not afford to potter round minor matters, the scheme was 

dropped. 

When a new Ministry is completed the Treasury 

meet in the Board -room and the Permanent Secretary 

. ^, , reads the Patent. This constitutes the Board, 

Averting a 

Deadlock, and the First Lord of the Treasury thereupon 
directs that the new Secretaries shall be called in. By 
similar happy accident to that which finds the Chairman- 
designate of Ways and Means in evening dress as early as 
three o'clock in the afternoon on the day he is to be called 
to the chair, the new Secretaries to the Treasury are always 
within hail, ready to answer the signal of the First Lord. 
On entering the Board-room, the First Lord directs them to 
take their seats at the table, and without more ado business 
proceeds. 

This process of installation is a small matter in itself. 
But it has substantial advantages for the Secretaries to the 
Treasury, and is attended by much convenience in the House 
of Commons. As soon as a new Government is formed, 
members of it accepting office directly under the Crown 
must needs, in accordance with imperative Queen Anne, 
seek re-election. The consequence is that, for a week or 
ten days after a new Parliament meets, the House of 
Commons is as a sheep without a shepherd, the principal 
Ministers being forbidden entrance to the House to which 
they have just been elected by their constituents till they 
have obtained renewal of their confidence. 

By rare exception, in the Parliament meeting for the 
first time in November 1900, the Ministry dominant in the 
old Parliament having been reinstated in the new, the 
embarrassment did not present itself. In 1880 the Con- 
servative Government were chasscs, and Mr. Gladstone 
returned in their place. The existence of this statute of 
Queen Anne accidentally established a malign influence on 
the fortunes of the Gladstone Ministry, from which, in spite 



I902 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



501 



of its overwhelming majority, it never recovered. Between 
the date of the meeting of the new ParHament and the 
return of the Premier after re-election the Bradlaugh 
difficulty was born, and, carefully tended by the incipient 
Fourth Party, lustily grew. Had Mr. Gladstone been in his 
place when the cloud, no bigger than a man's hand, showed 
itself on the horizon, he would have taken steps, easy and 
obvious, to prevent its spreading. In his absence, and that 
of all Ministers of Cabinet rank, the matter was so bungled 
that when they appeared on the scene the affair had grown 
out of hand. 

At such epochs the principal representative of the 
Government is the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. 
He, in company with his colleague, the Patronage Secretary, 
does not receive his appointment direct from the Sovereign. 
As we have seen, he is called in by the First Lord of the 
Treasury, and thereby escapes the inconvenience, loss of 
time, and possible peril of presenting himself for re-election. 



Occasionally, under the pressure of work and momentary 
exasperation, Mr. Balfour " lets fly " in the House of 
Mr. Balfour's Commous. As Sir Henry 
Antipathies. Howorth, Mr. Bartley, and 
Mr. Burdett-Coutts have reason to 
know, his attack is not necessarily, 
or by preference, directed towards 
the Opposition benches. But in that 
part of the House his antipathies live 
— or rather exist — happily unconscious 
of the nature of his regard. Mercifully 
the caprice of the constituencies has 
removed two from the direct line of 
his glance as he sits on the Treasury 
Bench. One was Mr. Shaw-Lefevre, 
an able, conscientious, hard-working man, the mere sight of 
whom, by some subtle irresistible influence, instantly changed 
the aspect of Mr. Balfour's usually smiling countenance. 

The other was a Scotch member, an accomplished, 




IS THAT SHAW-LEFEVRE ? ' 



502 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

amiable gentleman, who exercised the same mysterious 
influence. It was added aggravation that, seated behind 
the Front Opposition Bench, he night after night came in 
direct line of the vision of the right hon. gentleman lounging 
on the Treasury Bench. It is an undeniable fact that there 
was something in the contour of the hon. member's face and 
head that suggested the anatomy of a horse. One of his 
colleagues remarking this in the confidence of the Treasury 
Bench, Mr. Balfour sharply replied : — 

"Yes, he looks like a horse, but he's only an ass." 
Never since language was invented was it turned to 
anything so terrible in its scorn as this diminuendum of 
dislike. 



CHAPTER XLIII 



JUNE 



Amid a succession of historic scenes witnessed in the House 
of Commons during the last thirty years, three are deeply 

Making scorcd in memory. One 

History, befell on the threshold of 
the Session of 1878. By grim 
coincidence Parliament then, as this 
year, guided by a Conservative Govern- 
ment, was summoned to meet three 
weeks in advance of the accustomed 
time. Coincidence is completed by 
the facts that it met on precisely the 
same day, the i6th of January, urged 
by the same impetus, the necessity 
of obtaining funds for warlike pur- 
poses. There was profound unrest in 
the East, an influence reacting on 
Downing Street. Before the House 
had been in Session ten days news 
came that the Russians were march- 
ing on Gallipoli. Attention was 
strained for the first sound of their 
thundering at the gates of Constanti- 
nople. 

Lord Beaconsfield's Ministry declaring for war. Lord 
Carnarvon retired. Lord Derby proffered his resignation 
and withdrew it. Challenged in the House of Lords for an 

503 




THE EARL OF DERBY. 



504 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

explanation of this conduct, he explained that he resigned 
when the fleet was ordered to the Dardanelles, cancelling 
the action when, on a fresh turn of affairs, order was 
dispatched stopping the eager fleet just as it approached the 
mouth of the famous waterway. 

I remember a piece of paper passed along the crowded 
benches of the House of Commons, in Sir Wilfrid Lawson's 
schoolboy handwriting, in which the situation was epigram- 
matically summed up : — 

When the Government ordered the fleet to the Straits, 

They surely encountered the hardest of fates ; 

For the order, scarce given, at once was recalled, 

And the Russians were not in the slightest appalled. 
And every one says, who has heard the debates, 
•' It's the Cabinet now, not the fleet, that's in straits ! " 

Crisis came before the House of Commons in the form 

of a demand for a Vote of Credit. It was only for six 

millions, a trifle compared with what we have 

A Scare. 

grown accustomed to during the last two years. 
On the 7th of February the House was crowded in anticipa- 
tion of a hostile amendment being moved from the Front 
Opposition Bench by Mr. Forster. Rumour of advance of 
the Russians on Constantinople clouded the City through 
the day. When the House met it buzzed about the crowded 
Lobby. Lord Hartington, then Leader of the Opposition, 
asked Sir Stafford Northcote, Leader of the House, whether 
there was any truth in the report. Sir Stafford read a 
telegram from Mr. Layard, Her Majesty's Minister at 
Constantinople, dated two days earlier, describing how, in 
spite of the armistice, the Russians were pushing on, and 
had compelled the Turks to abandon important positions on 
the line of the defence of their capital. 

Mr. Forster, in view of the gravely -altered aspect of 
affairs, proposed to withdraw his amendment. Mr. Bright, 
following some minor speakers, threw doubt on the founda- 
tion for alarm. 

" Our Ambassador at the Porte," he said, in tone of 
withering sarcasm,, " has been alarmed several times." 



1902 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



505 



Even as he spoke a letter was passed along the Treasury 
Bench to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He showed it 
to a colleague seated near him, whose countenance betrayed 
profound perturbation. John Bright having made an end of 
speaking, Stafford Northcote rose, observing that he had an 
important communication to make. Solemn silence fell on 
the crowded benches, members leaning forward to catch 
momentous words that might mean 
war. The missive Sir Stafford held in 
his hand proved to be a communica- 
tion from Lord Derby conveying a 
telegram direct from Prince Gortchakoff 
declaring that there was not a word of 
truth in the circumstantial report that 
had stirred London to its depths and 
swept through the House of Commons 
with a storm of excitement. 

The dramatic quality of the scene 
was intensified by the fact that the 
whole thing — the alarm from Constanti- 
nople, the withdrawal of the amendment, 
and the reassuring despatch from St. 
Petersburg, supplying a touch of comedy 
to the threatened tragedy — was com- 
pleted within an hour. 

The second scene I have in mind, 
though on a lower level of European 
The Kiimain- interest, was similar in its 
ham Treaty, swift movement and the 
appearance on the scene of a written communication that 
changed everything. By a strange coincidence Mr. Forster 
was again a leading actor in its development. 

It happened in May 1882, a week after the assassination 
in Phoenix Park. Mr. Forster having resigned the Chief 
Secretaryship and quitted the Treasury Bench was seated on 
the corner seat of the bench immediately behind. Question 
arising of the circumstances under which Mr. Parnell had 
been recently released from Kilmainham, that gentleman read 




THE LATE RIGHT HON. 
W. E. FORSTER. 



5o6 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

what purported to be the letter written by him to Captain 
O'Shea, which presently came to be known as the Kilmainham 
Treaty. 

It declared in colourless language that in the event of 
the Government refraining from introducing a Crimes Act, 
and forthwith dealing with the question of arrears of rent, 
Mr. Parnell and his colleagues " would feel themselves in a 
position to assist in restraining agrarian outrages." 

There the matter seemed to end, and the House was 
proceeding to other business when Mr. Forster rose and in 
significant manner asked whether Mr. Parnell had read the 
whole of his letter. The Opposition, which in those days 
prominently included the Fourth Party, pricked up their ears. 
Mr. Parnell replied that he had read the whole of the copy 
supplied to him by Mr. O'Shea. The original, he added, 
contained another paragraph, and so far as he was concerned 
there would be no objection to having it read. Amid 
boisterous cheers from the Conservatives, Mr. Forster, taking 
a manuscript from his pocket, handed it to Mr. O'Shea and 
invited him to read the last paragraph. Mr. O'Shea, who 
happened to be conveniently seated on the other side of the 
gangway, glanced over the document, and without making 
any remark returned it to Mr. Forster. The ex-Chief Secre- 
tary waved it back, saying, " It's not my letter." 

After more parleying across the gangway Mr. O'Shea, 
amid loud laughter and ironical cheers from the Opposition, 
read the expurgated paragraph, in which Mr. Parnell further 
undertook, on behalf of himself and friends, to " co-operate 
cordially with the Liberal party in forwarding Liberal 
principles." 

The third scene, unrelieved in painfulness, happened in 

the present Session. In the second week of March suddenly, 

,.^ a bolt out of the blue, fell news of the defeat and 

regretabie discomfiturc of Lord Methuen's column, the 

Incident." ^^Qu^jjing of the General, his capture, and the 

seizure of guns and baggage. No one was at the time 
especially thinking of the war. The Paper was curiously 
free from questions bearing upon it. The preliminary busi- 



I902 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



507 




mr. brodrick reading lord 
kitchener's despatch. 



ness was over, the Speaker had risen to call on the Clerk to 
read the Orders of the Day, when Mr. Brodrick approached 
the table. There was some- 
thing in his countenance and 
bearing that implied portentous 
news. Not a whisper of any 
had circulated in House or 
Lobby. If there had been an 
engagement, whether it had 
gone well or ill with the 
British, rumour of it would 
certainly have spread in 
advance of Ministerial state- 
ment. 

This consideration, flash- 
ing through the mind, sug- 
gested the wild hope that the 
Secretary of State for War, 

repository of the State secret of negotiations with the Boer 

Generals, was the har- 
binger of peace. Profound 
silence reigned over the 
crowded benches. The 
opening sentence of Lord 
Kitchener's despatch read 
by Mr. Brodrick crushed 
hope, leaving in its place 
a feeling approaching 
despair. " I greatly regret 
to have to send you bad 
news about Methuen." 

The promise was 
amply fulfilled. Lord 
Methuen, grievously 
wounded, was a prisoner 
in the hands of the Boers. 
To their camp he was 
escorted with a long train of captured guns and baggage. 




THE JOY OF SWIFT MACNEILL. 



5o8 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

Worse still was the mental picture swiftly drawn of 550 
mounted troops wearing British uniform, chased by the 
Boers for a run of full four miles. When Mr. Brodrick in 
his reading came upon the first item in the bad news a 
chuckle of delight rippled over the benches where the Irish 
members sat, greedily attentive. As the story went on, 
disclosing the gallant Methuen shot in the thigh, a helpless 
prisoner in the hands of the man he had been chivying for 
two years, the chuckle became a burst of jubilant laughter, 
breaking into boisterous cheers. That child of Nature, Mr. 
Swift MacNeill, so far forgot himself as to clap his hands 
for joy after the manner of the little hills known to the 
Psalmist. 

Next to the hopeless bad taste of the demonstration was 
its cheap security. Had it happened in any other public 
resort in Great Britain, indignation would have taken a 
practical form that would have landed the Irish members 
outside. Twelve baskets would probably not have sufficed 
to hold the remaining fragments of the party. The House 
of Commons is sanctuary for even the most cowardly 
assailant. There were angry cries of " Shame ! Shame ! " 
from the Ministerial benches. Beyond that involuntary 
outburst of indignation, English and Scotch gentlemen sat 
proudly silent whilst Ireland, the most generous- hearted 
chivalrous -mannered of the three kingdoms, was thus 
misrepresented on the most public platform in the world. 

Sir Edward Montagu, Knight of the Shire for North- 
ampton in the first Parliament of James I., would stare 

The House of ^S^^^^ ^^ ^^^ lineal descendant, the present 
Montagu : old member for the New Forest Division of Hamp- 

style and new. i- .. i.iV. ri-'i'ij.- 

shire, arrivmg at the scene of his legislative 
labours. Sir Edward, when he repaired to Westminster in 
response to the King's summons, drove in the family coach 
with due precaution against intrusion by the way. The 
Hon. John Walter Edward Douglas Scott-Montagu arrives 
in Palace Yard driving his own motor-car. The police once 
forbade the entrance to Palace Yard of his strange vehicle. 



I902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 509 

But the kinsman and modern representative of the Bold 
Buccleuch was not to be baffled by " a bobby." There was 
talk of breach of privilege, before which the police discreetly 
retired, and the motor-car from the New Forest to-day 
dashes into Palace Yard as free to come and go as was Sir 
Edward Montagu's palfrey three hundred years ago. 

When Sir Edward took his seat in the House of 
Commons he resolved to keep a diary. Unhappily, as too 
often attends similar resolve, it was not long j^e King opens 
persevered in. Else, in priceless prelude of other Parliament, 
works on the same lines, we might at this day have had a 
" Diary of the Jacobean Parliament." As far as it goes the 
manuscript is full of interest. With much other of historical 
value, it is religiously preserved at Beaulieu, where John 
Scott-Montagu's father. Lord Montagu, does the State quiet 
service by patiently, lovingly preserving the ruins of the 
beautiful Abbey adjoining the family residence. 

Under date 19th March 1603, Sir Edward describes 
the opening of the first Parliament of King James. " The 
first day, being Monday, 19th March, after the King was 
gone to church, the Lord High Steward, who was the Earl 
of Nottingham, came into the usual place in Westminster, 
and after he had called all the knights, citizens, and 
burgesses, and sworn some to the supremacy, the rest went 
into the Courts next the Parliament House, and there were 
sworn by certain of the House appointed commissioners by 
the Steward, and there most of them remained expecting to 
be sent for into the Higher House." 

It will be perceived that here is marked difference in the 
swearing-in of a new Parliament as practised in the twentieth 
century. In James's time a peer, the nominee of the King, 
busied himself about administering the oath to the Commons. 
Now the business is transacted within the privacy of the 
chamber on whose floor no peer dare set foot. 

There seems to have been some misunderstanding about 
summoning the waiting Commons to hear the King's Speech. 
Either their existence was forgotten or it was wilfully 
ignored. " The King's Majesty, after he was set and all the 



5IO LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

Lords placed," the Diary continues — " the King demanded 
once or twice whether the Lower House was come. Answer 
being made that they were " (though indeed the House was 
not there, Sir Edward severely remarks), " His Majesty, 
putting off his cap and crown, and putting it on again, made 
a most excellent speech." 

It was rather long, continuing almost an hour. After 
this the Lord Chancellor made a speech and " willed the 
Lower House to choose a Speaker, and to present him to 
His Majesty on Thursday next." This done, the diarist and 
one or two other Commoners, who had shrewdly made their 
way to the Upper House, returned to the other, which they 
found crowded with deluded members, waiting for a call that 
never came. Compared with this slight, what took place on 
Jubilee Day, when the Commons, summoned to Buckingham 
Palace to salute Queen Victoria, were not permitted to 
approach the Royal presence, is a mere nothing. 

From other letters in this connection written by 
newsmen and private correspondents we get peeps at 
"Withdraw I Parliament in that far-off time. In 1641-42 
Withdraw!" London was ablaze with excitement about 
sending the Bishops to the Tower and the attempt by the 
King to seize members of the House of Commons. Friction 
between the two Houses was great. A news-letter dated 
29th December 1641 says: "Late at night the Lord Digby 
stood up in the Lords House and made a most invective 
speech against the Commons House for breaking laws and 
privileges entrenching upon the King, and upon them (the 
Lords). He bespattered the House of Commons as much 
as one would do his cloak in riding from Ware to London." 

Inside and outside disorder reigned. In the House of 
Lords Lord Warwick spoke in debate on the question 
of toleration for Popery. " The Bishop of York, not liking 
it, said to my Lord of Warwick, ' Hold your tongue,' at 
which they cried, ' Withdraw ! Withdraw ! ' But his Grace 
was obstinate and would not. Whereupon they compelled 
him to withdraw, and then committed him to the Black 
Rod." 



I902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 511 

A mob of citizens mustering in Westminster Hall, 
" there came some sixteen or seventeen gentlemenlike, and 
in a kind of foolish way said they would drive away all 
the citizens out of Westminster Hall, and every man drew 
his sword and flourished up and down the hall as if it were 
to invite to combat, but struck no man. They had not 
flourished twice the hall but about a hundred citizens, some 
six with swords, and as many with cudgels, and the rest with 
stones, came up, and first with a volley of stones let fly at 
them, then came up close to them, half of the gentlemen 
running away ; the rest, some eight of either side, maintained 
the fight until the gentlemen were all run away or beat 
down." 

The Bishops had a bad time at the hands of the mob. 
" There were certain Bishops coming to the House, and the 
apprentices cried, ' A Bishop ! A Bishop ! ' and so with cries 
kept them from landing, they rowing up and down about an 
hour and at last went back." 

The attempted arrest by King Charles of the five 
members of the House of Commons has been related by a 
stately procession of historians. Here is an jhefive 
unadorned account written 260 years ago to Members. 
Lord Montagu by an eye-witness : " The next day, January 
4th, 1 642, the Commons came to the House and the five 
men with them, and when it was about twelve o'clock they 
had notice that the King would come with some hundreds 
to take those men by force. They, understanding, went 
away, and presently the King came with some 400, about a 
hundred of his own servants, and all the rest captains and 
other broken and desperate fortune men, only young Mr. 
Sawyer excepted. These accompanied His Majesty, who, 
for haste, went in a hackney coach. But when he came 
into the Commons House he looked about and found none 
of them. 

" ' What,' said he, * are all the birds flown ? Well, I will 
find them,' and so departed." 

For simplicity of phrase, for brevity, and for graphic 
power this passage is worthy of comparison with some 



512 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1902 



of the masterpieces of prose narrative that ennoble the 
Old Testament. The chronicler 
makes no attempt to describe 
the scene. But as we read we 
behold it. The Commons 
assembled for their ordinary 
work ; the Speaker in the Chair ; 
the mace on the table ; and, 
" when it was about twelve 
o'clock," news that the King 
was coming ; the hurried con- 
sultation ; the swift withdrawal 
of the five members ; the rabble 

at the doors of 

the House ; the 

entry of the 

King ; his swift 

survey of the 

silent ranks ; his 

discovery that 

the birds were 

flown ; " Well, I 

will find them," 

and so departed. 
The same 

letter gives an equally graphic 
account of the feeling of the people 
at this outrage upon 

°^ ^, In the City. 

Parliament : " On the 
day following the King, accom- 
panied by divers of his Lords, 
repaired to Guildhall, where the 
Common Council were sitting, and 
explained that he went in the way 
of arms to the Commons House the 
day before for fear of the multitude." 
That the fear was not unfounded subsequent incidents 
testified. His Majesty graciously accepted an invitation to 





JUST POPPING IN — "I HOPE I 
don't INTkUDE." 



DISAPPROVAL. 



I902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 513 

dine with the sheriff. When he went back the Lord Mayor 
came to wait upon His Majesty, "and after the King was 
gone the citizens' wives fell upon the Lord Mayor and 
pulled his chain from his neck, and called him traitor to the 
City and to the liberties of it, and had like to have torn 
both him and the Recorder in pieces." 

As for the King, wending his way home westward, " he 
had the worst day in London that ever he had, the people 
crying ' Privilege of Parliament,' and prayed God to turn 
the heart of the King, shutting up all their shops, and 
standing at their doors with swords and halberds." 

Here out of this musty letter 260 years old is subject 
for a fine historical picture. One can see the perturbed, but 
still unyielding, Charles driving through Cheapside with the 
stout citizens of London praying God to turn his heart, but 
" standing at their doors with swords and halberds." 



2 L 



CHAPTER XLIV 

JULY 

The Sovereign's appearance on the scene at the close of a 
Session would be interesting, amongst other things, as reviv- 
The Speaker's ^"5 ^" ancient custom dimly, and not quite 
Opportunity, accurately, recalled by the present occupant of 
the Chair in the House of Commons. Speaking at the 
Mansion House early in the Session, Mr. Gully stated his 
belief that " the last Speaker who had the opportunity 
of airing his eloquence at the prorogation of Parliament 
was Mr. Manners Sutton, who ceased to be Speaker in 
1835." As Mr. Sidney Lee, whose knowledge, like the 
National Biography he edited, is encyclopaedic, pointed out, 
this custom survived to a much later date. So recently 
as the Session of 1854, when for the last time Queen 
Victoria went down to prorogue Parliament, the Speaker 
harangued Her Majesty at length on the course of the 
Session. 

In olden times, it being the Speaker's only chance of 
letting himself go, the performance was elaborate and 
extensive. Its opportunity was, however, strictly correlative 
with the presence of the Sovereign. No Sovereign, no 
speech. Possibly ruthless observance of the privilege may 
have had something to do with the abandonment of the 
Royal visit, and may influence His Majesty in contemplation 
of the propriety of resuming the practice. 

In the first two years of her reign, 1837 and 1838, 

514 



I902 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



515 



Queen Victoria, proroguing Parliament, was addressed at 
length by Speaker Abercromby, standing at the Bar in wig 
and gown, escorted by the Mace, accompanied by the 
Chaplain, and inconveniently backed up from behind by a 
mob of members. The last Speaker who monopolised 
enjoyment of the privilege was Mr. Shaw-Lefevre, after- 
wards Viscount Eversley, and up to a recent time still with 
us. He it was who, on the 12th of August 1854, made 
the last of these speeches to Queen Victoria, then in the 
prime of life and the fulness of domestic happiness. The 
oration, preserved in the sepulchre of Hansard, dealt largely 
with the Crimean War, at that time in progress. If Mr. 
Gully were called upon by the presence of the King to 
revive the custom he would, by striking coincidence, find a 
theme at hand in a war far exceeding that of the Crimea, 
alike in duration, in loss 
of blood, and of treasure. 

It is a saddening 
reflection that within the 

A narrow memory of 
Escape. the present 
generation the nearest 
approach to bad lan- 
guage spoken in the 
House of Lords should 
have come from the 
Lord Chancellor (Lord 
Halsbury). The event 
befell on one of the 
closing nights of last 
Session. The subject 
under discussion was the 
Royal Declaration Bill, 
which Lord Rosebery 
attacked in a speech of 
unusual vigour. It was the outcome of the work of a com- 
mittee over which the Lord Chancellor presided. Lord 




THE LORD CHANCELLOR HAS A NARROW ESCAPE. 



5i6 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

Rosebery, inter alia, charged the committee with being 
unduly sensitive to criticism. 

" I am not at all sensitive to the noble earl's observa- 
tions," said the Lord Chancellor, " and I do not believe there 
is one member of the committee who cares a " 

Happily the Lord Chancellor stopped, almost as he 
breathed the objectionable word, involuntarily formed on 
the lips of noble lords listening. A burst of laughter 
giving him pause, he continued : " Well, I do not want to 
use disagreeable expressions, and I will say there is no 
member who cares for the noble earl's criticisms." This 
was felt to be rather a weak conclusion compared with what 
the sentence earlier promised. It was at least more 
Parliamentary. 

The Lord Chancellor was in particularly lively form at 
this sitting. Lord Rosebery's argument was that the form 
Amenities in °^ declaration recommended by the Bill was so 
the Lords, phrascd that any one might take it. " Do you 
suppose," he said, " that Charles II. would not have made 
this declaration with a ready voice and an easy conscience ? 
And yet Charles II.," he added, with tremendous thump 
on the table sufficient in force to have taken off the head 
of Charles I., " died in communion with the Church of 
Rome." 

Noble lords looked on with raised eyebrows and slightly 
curled lips. This sort of thing was all very well in the 
House of Commons, They had heard of — some had seen 
— Mr. Gladstone standing at the table whacking the brass- 
bound box or beating the palm of his left hand with his 
right, with noise that almost drowned his ordered speech. 
But to have a belted earl thumping the table in the House 
of Lords was quite a new thing. It came nearer to presage 
of abolition of the institution than anything else uttered at 
Northampton or elsewhere. The Lord Chancellor, in a 
concluding sentence of his speech, neatly phrased reproach 
of this flagrant departure from House of Lords form. 

" I feel," he said, " as strongly on this matter as does 
the noble earl, though I admit I have no piece of furniture 




"A BELTED EARL THUMPING THE TABLE.' 



:902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 519 

within my reach to enable me by strength of muscle to 
supply lack of argument." 

It was assumed and asserted at the time that Mr. Dillon 
beat the record when early this Session he gave the lie 
direct to Mr. Chamberlain. That is not the 

11-111 11 "^^^ ^^^ direct. 

case. The record was established by the late 
Dr. Tanner, though to give Mr. Dillon his due he freshened 
it up by the embroidery of an adjective. It was towards 
the end of the Session of 1895 that Dr. Tanner broke out. 
From the opening of the sitting he had been in ominous 
state of unrest. According to his habit it developed the 
form of extreme desire that other members should observe 
orderly conduct. Once, Mr. Balfour venturing to smile at 
some bombast on the part of Mr. John Redmond, Dr. Tanner 
rose and protested that he " felt bound to call attention to 
the indecorous behaviour of the gentleman who is Leader 
of the House." Later, Mr. Balfour, dealing with the state 
of public business, made the obvious remark that at the 
period of the Session reached it was waste of time for private 
members to bring in new Bills. To Dr. Tanner's active 
logical mind this irresistibly suggested affairs in the Far 
East. 

" Does the right hon. gentleman," he shouted, sternly 
regarding Mr. Balfour, " really intend to try and prevent the 
murder of any more missionaries in China ? " 

After this, anything might be expected, and it was not 
long in coming. In debate on the Address — the first 
Session of the new Parliament opened, of all dates, on the 
1 2th of August — Mr. Harrington observed that the late 
Government had run away from Home Rule. 

" That's a lie ! " shouted Dr. Tanner. 

The Speaker was up in a minute, calling upon him to 
withdraw the offensive word and apologise. 

" No, no," said the Doctor, remaining seated and still 
burning with desire that everything should be done in order, 
" I cannot get up, you know, so long as you are on your 
legs." 



520 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1902 



That was indisputable, it being a serious breach of order 

for a member to rise whilst 
the Speaker is upstanding. 
Without more ado Dr. 
Tanner was named. In 
the absence of Mr. Balfour, 
Mr. Chamberlain moved 
the resolution of suspen- 
sion. The Doctor refusing 
to withdraw, the Serjeant- 
at-Arms was bidden to 
remove him. As he ap- 
proached, the apostle of 
order rose and walked 
down the gangway. At 
sight of Mr. Chamberlain 
seated on the Treasury 
Bench a storm of fury 
shook him. Drawing 
himself up to full height, 
stretching forth his arm 
as if levelling a pistol at 
the head of the Colonial 
Secretary, he yelled, "Judas ! Judas! Judas!" and so went 
forth. 

This was his last prominent appearance on the Parlia- 
mentary stage. 

What is familiarly known in the House of Commons as 
the Twelve o'clock Rule is commonly regarded as a modern 
_ , , , , invention. But there is nothing new under the 

Twelve o clock ° 

with a sun, and this particular product is at least two 
and a half centuries old. In the Journals of the 
House there will be found, under date 1645, the following 
Standing Order : " That no new motion of any business 
whatsoever shall be made after twelve o'clock, and that 
Mr. Speaker should not hear any new motion after twelve 
o'clock." Two years later, in order to make the matter 




"JUDAS ! JUUAS!" 



1902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 521 

more clear, it was ordered that "as soon as the clock strikes 
twelve the House shall rise." 

There is this important difference between the two 
conditions of things. Whilst with us the Twelve o'clock 
Rule means midnight, in the seventeenth century it struck 
at noon. 

Members who, in debate on the new Procedure Rules, 
grumbled at the prospect of meeting as early as two in the 
afternoon may be reminded that in the time of James L 
eight o'clock in the morning was the hour at which the 
Speaker took the Chair. Once at least in the spacious 
times of Queen Elizabeth they met at 6 A.M. That 
was a special occasion, when, having obtained permission 
of Her Majesty to attend at eight, the Commons held a 
preliminary meeting " to treat on what shall be delivered 
touching the reasons of their proceedings." In 16 14 the 
House met at 7 A.M., an order that remained in force for 
twenty-eight years. But the wind was tempered to the 
shorn lamb, inasmuch as the Stuart Kings were accustomed 
to interpose prolonged recesses in the sittings of their 
Parliaments. 

Mr. Field is acknowledged to have taken the prize for 
bulls. Mr. Wyndham having replied to a ques- 

1 r o T^ • 1 ) ^ Prime Bull. 

tion on the paper, the member for St. Patrick s 

Division of Dublin rose in all the majesty of a spotless 

shirt-front and protuberant cuffs. 

" Mr. Speaker, sir," he said, in tragic tones, " arising out 
of that answer, I wish to say I did not hear what the right 
hon. gentleman said." 

For a bull that is about as perfect an animal as is bred 
out of Ireland. It is one of the rules feebly governing the 
putting of questions that, when a reply has been given by a 
Minister, further interrogation is permissible only in direct 
connection with the answer. Whenever an Irish member 
wants to put a supplementary question — and he invariably 
does — he prefaces it with a formula " arising out of that 
answer." Hence Mr. Field's stumbling. 



522 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1902 



In the earliest days of his reign King Edward VII. 
introduced a new order of things in connection with the 
The King's Speech from the Throne at the opening of the 
Speech. Scssion. During the reign of Queen Victoria it 
was the practice not only to furnish copies of the document 
to the Leaders of the Opposition in both Houses for the 
information of their colleagues, but to communicate a full 
precis to the newspapers. By order of the King, whilst the 
Leaders of the Opposition were last Session and this pro- 
vided with a copy of the Speech, which they read before 




I\ THE BULL-FIELD. 



dinner to their guests, the newspapers were left to their own 
devices in the effort to forecast the Speech. 

This is even a wider departure from the practice that 
obtained in the days of George IV. No secret was then 
made about the Speech, copies being circulated among 
members some days before the Session opened. Canning 
mentions, in a passage quoted by Mr. Walpole, a curious 
practice that obtained in his day. " It was the custom," he 
said, " the night before the commencement of a Session to 
read to such members as might think proper to assemble to 
hear it, at a place called the Cockpit, the Speech with which 



1902 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



523 



the King's Ministers had advised His Majesty to open 
Session." Cockpit and custom have both disappeared. 
The original Cockpit was part of the building of ancient 
Whitehall, and came in course of time to be devoted to the 
business and convenience of the Treasury. 



In Parliamentary records the most dilatory apology 
made by a member of the House of Commons I find in 
"Adequate" records of more 
Apology. than sixty years 
ago. The offender was Mr. 
Kearsley, member for Wigan. 
He seems to have been, in 
personal appearance as in 
other respects, a character. He 
is described as having " a 
little, round, pug-looking face, 
with an ample harvest of 
black, bushy hair, with whiskers 
to match ; a little, thick -set 
man with an inclination to 
corpulence." Notice is taken 
of " an expressive look of 
self- complacency irradiating 
his globularly-formed, country- 
complexioned countenance, 
while his small, bright eyes 
ever peered triumphantly over 
his little cocked-up nose." 

In the Session of 1836, 
the House being in Committee on the Stamp Duty and 
Excise, Mr. Kearsley, following Mr. Roebuck, appealing 
directly to Lord John Russell, asked "with what pleasure 
he had listened to the disgusting speech of the honourable 
and learned member for Bath." The Chairman of Com- 
mittees, Mr. Bernal (known to later Parliaments as Bernal 
Osborne), ruled the expression out of order and called for 
its withdrawal. 




A FANCY PORTRAIT. 



524 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

" Sir," said Mr. Kearsley, " a more disgusting speech I 
never heard." 

Thereupon, amid shouts of " Order ! " he left his seat, 
and with a profound bow to the Chair, and a gracious wave 
of farewell with his right hand, made for the door. A crowd 
standing there blocked his way and Mr. Kearsley returned 
to his seat. Mr. Paul Methuen, grandfather of our wounded 
Lord Methuen, who sat through several Parliaments as 
member for Wiltshire, insisted upon retraction of the 
offensive word and apology. Mr. Kearsley was on his legs 
again before the Chairman could say a word, and cried 
aloud, " Paul, Paul, why persecutest thou me .-* " In the end, 
after much pressure, Mr. Kearsley withdrew the word but 
did not apologise. 

In this same Parliament sat Mr. Brotherton, member for 

Salford, who distinguished himself in a more sane manner. 

In boyhood a factory hand, he in course of time 

Early Closing. \ ^ ^ ,. "^ ... , ,. 

ran a factory 01 his own, which made him one 
of the richest of Manchester men. His predominant idea 
in connection with Parliamentary life was to get members 
off to bed by half-past twelve. Session after Session he 
was in his place, and on the hand of the clock passing the 
half-hour after midnight he rose and moved the adjournment. 
If a big debate were in progress he refrained from interfer- 
ence. His conviction was that no new business should be 
taken after half-past twelve, wherein he was nearly half a 
century before his time. 



CHAPTER XLV 

AUGUST 

The manuscripts preserved at Welbeck Abbey by the Duke 
of Portland contain some interesting references to the 
representative of the Harcourt family in the Archives of 
classical times of Queen Anne. On the 28th of the Harcourt 
November Simon Harcourt, Lord Keeper, took 
possession of Newnham, to-day the home of the head of 
the Harcourt clan. 

" It is," writes Canon Stratford to Edward Harley, later 
second Earl of Oxford, "a very pleasant situation and a 
fine estate. Lord Keeper pays for it £17,000, and Tom 
Rovvney, who managed this bargain for him, tells me it 
is the cheapest pennyworth that ever was bought in 
Oxfordshire." 

The Lord Keeper had previously lived at Cockrop, 
where within two years he laid out ;^4000. " He has 
bought," adds the envious Canon, " Sir Edmund Warcop's 
estate that joins to Cockrop for ;^ 10,000 and now this 
purchase for i^ 17,000. It is plain there is money to be got 
by the Seals, and formerly money was got in the Treasury." 

The Lord Keeper had a son who bore the baptismal 
name of Simpkin. The Lord Keeper put him up as a 
candidate for Oxford University. "Harcourt," a Queen Anne 
writes the Canon, "has been in town since "LouIou." 
Sunday. He spent Sunday evening at the Deanery. He 
dined there yesterday. He passed by my lodgings both 

525 



5 26 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

times without calling. I am not much mortified. [Oh 
Canon, Canon.] I have known the time when father as 
well as son would have been glad to come here when they 
could be admitted into no other house." 

Five days later Loulou — I mean Simpkin — mindful 
that the Canon had a vote and some influence, remembered 
his old friend. " Young Harcourt sups with me to-night," 
the Canon writes, under date 7th December 17 12. "He 
called on me last night. I asked him if he had not gone 
by my door every day this week. He owned it, but said 
that he still designed to call on me before he left the town. 
I told him I believed I was obliged to the weather for seeing 
him. After a short visit he appointed to come with T. 
Rowney and sup with me this evening. I hope," adds the 
Canon, always ready, so to speak, to "go off" when the 
image of the Lord Keeper crosses his mind, " you will allow 
me to have learned somewhat since I belong to the Court 
when I can be upon a point of compliments with the son 
after I have been used so by the father. If I go on to 
improve in this way, I may in time be qualified for better 
preferment." 

Through the correspondence flash many glimpses of 
Queen Anne's Lord Keeper, a big, bustling, competent, 
successful man, carrying everything before him in private 
company and in public life. A masterful spirit, with great 
contempt for mediocrity, and no cultured gift of reticence 
in expressing his views about it. As a study of heredity 
this is interesting and valuable, showing to the present 
generation how, in the course of three centuries, a family 
type may be revived. 

At Newnham there hangs at this day a portrait of Lord 
Keeper Harcourt. When, a few years ago, a historic fancy 
. . ^ . .. dress ball was given at Devonshire House, Sir 

Lord Halsbury o ' 

as Queen William Harcourt went in the character of his 

""^* ancestor. The arrangement was not difficult, 

since the gown of the Chancellor of the Exchequer of to-day 

is, in nearly every respect, identical with that worn by the 

Lord Keeper two hundred years ago. 



1902 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



527 




Amongst the stories treasured in connection with the 
social triumph planned and carried out by the Duchess of 
Devonshire is one relating to 
the present Lord Chancellor 
and Simon Harcourt's dis- 
tinguished descendant. Lord 
Halsbury went to the ball in 
the character of George III. 
Coming across Sir William 
Harcourt, and a little mixed in 
his dates, he, with his habitual 
playfulness, said : — 

" Are you viy Lord Chan- 
cellor?" 

"Yes," said Sir William 

Harcourt sir william harcourt as lord 

,, . r KEEPER IN THE TIME OF QUEEN ANNE. 

' if your 

Majesty chances to be Queen Anne." 

It was said at the time of the ball 
that Lord Halsbury's philandering as 
George III. was coldly looked upon in 
the highest quarter. " A little too near 
the family," Queen Victoria said, when 
she heard of the Lord Chancellor's 
selection of an otherwise not inappropriate 
character. 

The gown of the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer is rarely seen by the public, 
which is a pity. It is as hand- ^ Historic 
some as it is costly, lending a Gown. 
stateliness to the figure unapproachable 
by the art of the modern tailor. I have a 
vivid recollection of seeing Mr. Gladstone 
arrayed in it on the occasion of the opening 
by the Queen of the new Law Courts. 
Striking in appearance, even when he wore a shabby old 
cape endeared by association of two score years, he in 




THE LORD CHANCELLOR 
AS GEORGE IH. 



528 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

this gracious robe of silk took on a new dignity. A new 
gown costs ;^I50, and as it may not be worn out of office 
it is customary for the incoming Chancellor to purchase 
his predecessor's robe at a suitable reduction. In recent 
times there have been two notable exceptions to the 
rule. When, in February 1868, Mr. Gladstone succeeded 
Mr. Disraeli at the Treasury the outgoing Chancellor 
declined to sell his raiment to his successor. There was a 
very good reason, which precludes the necessity of searching 
for personal animus to account for the departure from 
custom. The robe had originally belonged to Mr. Pitt, and 
Disraeli preferred possession of the historic relic to a cheque 
for ;£^IOO. 

The other case was that of Lord Randolph Churchill, 
who possessed himself of Mr. Gladstone's Chancellor's gown. 
Mr. Goschen would have taken the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer's gown with his office. Lord Randolph would 
hold no truck with his successor. 

With the courage and originality that distinguish new 
members, Mr. Horner this Session brought forward the 
The Ladies' question of removing the grille from the Ladies' 
Qaiiery. Gallery in the House of Commons. It is curious 
what fascination this topic has for new members, and how 
genuine is their belief that in broaching it they are making 
fresh discovery of debatable land. Since another member 
of the family, Little Jack Horner, sat in a corner, his 
research and his self-appreciation crowned by the unexpected 
discovery of a plum in a Christmas pie, nothing has exceeded 
the complacency of the member for North Lambeth in 
fathering this fad. 

The rights of women at Westminster is a cause far older 
than members of the reformed House of Commons can 
recall. Seventy years ago West Gloucestershire was repre- 
sented by Mr. Grantley Berkeley. The Commons at that 
time sat in the old House, which provided no special 
accommodation for ladies attending the debate. Mr. 
Grantley Berkeley, pained at the inconvenience to which 



1902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 529 

ladies were put, moved a resolution authorising their admis- 
sion to the gallery reserved for strangers of the other sex. 
This he made an annual, after the later fashion of Mr. 
Cobden with his motion for the abolition of the Corn Laws. 
Every Session the member for West Gloucestershire moved 
that ladies be admitted to the gallery, and every Session an 
ungentle majority voted him down. 

The effects of his advocacy were seen when the new 
Houses of Parliament included a gallery for the occupation 
of ladies. That it should be shut off from the rest of the 
House by a lattice-work, a device common enough in 
Mohammedan lands, testifies to the timidity with which the 
innovation was authorised. For many years new members 
have in succession brought the subject up and proposed to 
remove the grille. Mr. Herbert Gladstone being First 
Commissioner of Works (and not yet married) was the first 
and last Minister who showed disposition to yield to the 
appeal avowedly put forward on behalf of ladies frequenting 
the House. He speedily discovered he had made a mistake 
and the subject dropped. 

Personal information gleaned over a pretty wide field of 
acquaintance with habituees of the Ladies' Galleries — for 
there are two, one pertaining to the dominion of the 
Speaker's wife — leads me to the conviction that by a con- 
siderable and important majority the privacy bestowed by 
the grille more than compensates for any inconvenience 
inseparable from the arrangement. 



M 



CHAPTER XLVI 



OCTOBER 



On the publication of the list of Coronation honours the 
House of Commons was much piqued at the choice of 
Coronation Liberals apparently made by Lord Salisbury 
Honours, and Mr. Balfour. I am assured on high personal 
authority that His Majesty's Ministers had nothing to do 
with the selection made in the Liberal camp. His Majesty 
conveyed to the Prime Minister intimation of desire that in 
the special circumstances the bestowal of honours should, as 
far as possible, be free from trace of political partisanship. 
The only way to meet this command was to divide the 
honours allotted to political personages. This was fairly, 

even liberally, done. But 



the procedure took the 
form of placing at the 
disposal of the Leaders 
of the Opposition in the 
House of Lords and in 
the House of Commons 
a certain number of 
honours, leaving allot- 
ment to them. 

This done, the ordi- 
nary course was followed, 
formal communication 
being, save in respect of the 




'NOLO CORONETARI. 



of the bestowal of the honour 

530 



I902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 531 

peerages, conveyed by the Ministers. The new peers 
received holograph letters from the King. The one written 
to Sir William Harcourt was a charming example of the 
graceful manner and kind heart of His Majesty. It will 
be an heirloom as precious as a patent of the peerage. 
On Sir William Harcourt begging to be excused leaving an 
assembly in which he had lived and worked for thirty-four 
years, His Majesty wrote a second long letter marked by 
even increased warmth of friendship and appreciation for the 
veteran statesman. 

The distinction of Privy Councillor is, after all, the 
highest a Sovereign can bestow. It was borne by Disraeli 
in his prime. It sufficed Peel and Gladstone to _. ^ 

^ Threatened 

the last. Mr. Arthur Balfour, with choice of Revolt of the 
stars and ribbons galore, not to mention a peer- " ^^^' 
age at his command, is proudly content with its simplicity. 

It is true that of late years some alloy has been intro- 
duced into the aggregate of purest metal. When the 
earliest arrangements for the Coronation were settled it 
was discovered that the judges were divided into two 
classes, those who were Privy Councillors and those who 
were not. The former had allotted to them especially good 
points of view in the Abbey, the other judges — and judges, 
when divested of wig and gown, are, after all, almost human 
— murmured at what they regarded as an invidious distinc- 
tion. A meeting was held at which there was talk of 
resenting the slight by abstaining from attendance. Good 
temper and contentment were restored by the wise words of 
the youngest judge present. 

" When we remember," he said, " that X. and Y. are 
members of the Privy Council, don't you think the distinction 
really rests with us who are not ? " 

The fact that their learned brother had sat for ten years 
in the House of Commons in the same political camp as the 
right hon. gentlemen of whom he spoke sharpened the point 
of the observation. The judges resolved to take no notice 
of the arbitrary division of the Bench, ignoring the pretension 
it conveyed of the superiority of Privy Councillors. 



532 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1902 



Next Time. 



Remembering the success of his prognostication, it is 
interesting to know what Mr. Chamberlain thinks of the 
prospect of the next General Election. He 
does not, at present, think about it at all, being 
convinced that, bar unparalleled accident, the present Parlia- 
ment will run its full appointed course. It will be time 
enough somewhere about autumn 1905 to begin to form 
opinion on the issue of a General Election. But the Colonial 
Secretary has a well-defined and fearless opinion about the 
result of a General Election should it be forced at the 
present time. He believes that if it were to take place next 
week the Government would be reinstated in power with at 
least the numerical majority that placed them there in 
October 1900. 



There was something tragic about the death of Johnston 
of Bally kilbeg. He was in the House 
on a Thursday night, when ,, ^ ^ ^ 

^ &> ' "A Tender- 

he heard Mr. Wyndham, with hearted 

that pedantry that pertains *"^ "^' 
to officials, upset a cherished project. 
Rostrevor is, it appears, a stronghold of 
Roman Catholicism in the North of 
Ireland. Argal, it was the very place 
upon which, on the 12th of July, anni- 
versary of a blessed memory, Orangemen 
should march with sashes flaunting and 
drums beating. Rostrevor, to do it 
justice, did not shirk the ordeal. On 
the contrary, its inhabitants joyously 
prepared to welcome the coming guests. 
Then the Chief Secretary to the Lord 
Lieutenant steps on the scene and, with 
^■^ deplorable lack of human sympathy, 
prohibits the excursion on the prosaic 

''"V/«TTrv./,TJ'°''' ground that if it were permitted there 

would be a battle-royal, a field strewn 

with dead and wounded. With the best intentions he added 




I902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 533 

to the aggravation of the disappointment. Moved by pro- 
tests against the prohibition, he consented to the Orangemen 
going as far as Warren Point, whence, with the aid of field- 
glasses, they might catch glimpses of the Catholics waiting 
for them at Rostrevor, Though well-meant, this was a 
concession almost inhuman in its ingenious cruelty. It was 
like spreading a toothsome banquet before a hungry tiger, 
taking care that the meal should be set outside the impass- 
able bars of his cage. 

Johnston of Ballykilbeg, depressed at this extraordinary 
conduct on the part of a Government he had loyally sup- 
ported, immediately left for Ireland to take part in the 
Downpatrick celebration of the happy day. In the course 
of the ceremony he caught a chill, and exactly a week after 
he left the House of Commons in his usual health the blinds 
were drawn down at Ballykilbeg, and there was a vacancy 
in the representation of West Belfast. 

Mr. Johnston was a curious compound of the fanatic and 
the man of tender heart. I do not know whether in his 
long career, crowned with the rank of Grand inspector of 
Master of Grand Black Chapter of Ireland, he Fisheries, 
ever really, overtly or covertly, heaved half a brick at a 
Papist ; whether, indeed, he ever shouted the watchword of 
militant Orangeism which consigns the Holy Father to 
eternal perdition. One never knows what unexpected things 
a man may do in moments of excitement. Out of Belfast 
Johnston of Ballykilbeg was the mildest-mannered man that 
ever wore an orange scarf. The spectacle of Irish Nationalist 
members seated opposite him, putting questions designed to 
belittle the memory of William III. and extol the parish 
priest, occasionally led him into truculent observations. He 
had a way of supplementing such inquiries by others designed 
to show matters in quite another light. They involved 
aspersions at least equalled in malignity to the question on 
the paper. But no one seemed a penny the worse. The 
Irish members boisterously cheered him. The Chief Secretary 
got out of the difficulty by observing that he had " no 
information on the point mentioned by my hon. friend," and 



5 34 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

then turned to read the written answer to the question on the 
paper provided for him by the Irish Office. 

For one of his kindly disposition, Johnston of Ballykilbeg's 
life was marked by turmoil. He emerged from obscurity 
in the arms of the police, who arrested him, flagrajite delicto, 
taking part in a proscribed Orange procession. That was 
quite enough for the people of Belfast. They straightway 
elected him their member, and through the prison door Mr. 
Johnston entered the portals of the House of Commons. 
After he had been in the House ten years Disraeli, who 
loved a joke and was not to be barred off enjoyment by 
ordinary considerations, made him Inspector of Fisheries. 
At the date when he was inducted in his important office 
the only acquaintance with fisheries or fish Johnston of 
Ballykilbeg boasted was that acquired at the breakfast-table, 
where was served the homely haddock or the frisky fresh 
herring. But he could learn, and the salary was ;6'8oo 
a year. 

Unfortunately, after he had served for seven years and 
was really beginning to master the difference between fly- 
fishing and gathering in the teeming multitude of the deep 
in a net, he strayed into a meeting of the General Synod of 
the Church of Ireland. A speech made by one of the 
authorities stirred his blood. Up he got and delivered an 
oration revolutionary in its tendencies, almost blood-thirsty 
in its aspirations. Certainly it was incongruous on the part 
of one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Irish Fisheries. Notice 
was called to the tirade in the House of Commons, with the 
result that Earl Spencer, then Lord Lieutenant, was obliged 
to dismiss the eloquent Inspector. South Belfast retorted 
by electing him its member, and Johnston of Ballykilbeg 
returned in triumph to the House of Commons. 

In the very last speech he delivered, within ten days of his 
sudden cutting off, he alluded to the dismissal of 1885. The 
event, he said, followed on a question put by Mr. Tim Healy, 
who he believed had ever since regretted his interposition. 
" Hear, hear ! " cried Tim, heartily. It was a happy accident 
that, in what chanced to be his last speech in an assembly 



I902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMExNT 535 

where he took his seat thirt}'-four years ago, there should 
have been sounded this truce with his ancient foes in 
poHtics and rehgion. The warfare was, in truth, mimic. 
The Irish NationaHst members respected the rugged eccen- 
tricity of Johnston of Ballykilbeg, and he had a sneaking 
affection for them. 

It was a mark of his indomitable character, in small 
things as in great, that he was thrice married. 



CHAPTER XLVII 

NOVEMBER 

Gentlemen of England who sit at home at ease reading 
their morning paper containing columns of Parliamentary 
TheJournaisof ^^po^^ little reck of another record of Parlia- 
the House, mentary proceedings painstakingly compiled, in 
due time stoutly bound, and stored in the Palace of 
Westminster. These are the Journals of the House of 
Commons, to-day edited by the Clerks of the Table as they 
were by their predecessors three hundred years ago. Lining 
the long corridor of the House of Commons, which cuts 
across the building from the Lobby where the bust of 
Cromwell surveys the scene to the door of the office of the 
Speaker's Secretary, the calf-bound volumes stand row on row 
chronicling in severely simple style the history of England. 
Beginning long before morning newspapers were established, 
holding the field at a time when the reporting of debates in 
Parliament was a criminal offence, these musty volumes tell 
the tale of the Sessions in unbroken continuity. Rarely 
opened, their existence known only to comparatively few, 
they plod along adding yearly to their bulk, scrupulously 
preserving in this twentieth century the manner of writing 
and of printing observed in the seventeenth. 

Here is a transcript, capital letters and italics duly 
preserved, of record of a historic event under date Wednesday, 
23rd January 1901 : "IT having pleased Almighty God 
to take to His mercy our late Most Gracious Sovereign 

536 



1902 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



537 



Lady Queen Victoria of blessed memory, who departed this 
life yesterday between the hours of Six and -^^^ King's 
Seven of the clock in the evening, at Osborne Accession. 
House, in the Isle of Wight ; and Her late Majesty's Most 
Honourable Privy Council, and others, having met this day 
at Saijtt James's Palace, and having directed that His Royal 
Highness Albert Edward Prince of Wales be proclaimed 
King To-morrow at Nine of the clock, by the Style and 
Title of Edward the Seventh : At Four of the clock the 
House met pursuant to the 
Statute made in the Sixth year 
of the reign of Her late Majesty 
Queen Anne, intituled, * An 
Act for the Security of Her 
Majesty's Person and Govern- 
ment, and of the Succession to 
the Crown of Great Britain in 
the Protestant Line.' And 
Mr. Speaker and several other 
Members {Francis Broxhobn 
Grey Jenkinson, Esquire, C.B., 5 
and Arthur William Nicholson, 
Esquire, the Clerks Assistant, 
and the other Clerks attending 
according to their duty) came 
into the House, whereupon Mr. 
Speaker first alone, standing upon the upper step of the 
Chair, took and subscribed the Oath required by Law. 
Then several Members took and subscribed the Oath ; and 
several Members made and subscribed the Affirmation 
required by Law." 

With the exception of one line this is, with variation of 
date and proper name, a copy of the entry recording the 
death of British Sovereigns since the Restoration. An 
innovation appears in the concluding line, where the fact that 
several members made affirmation instead of taking the 
Oath is recorded. 

In the Thousand and One Nights, each chapter con- 




MR. SPEAKER T.^KING THE OATH. 



5 38 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

dudes with a certain monotony. The break of day always 
interrupts Scheherazade at the most critical point 

"And then." . ^ . . ^ 

in her story, and is recorded in a phrase that 
varies slightly in form. A similar peculiarity marks the 
Journals of the House of Commons. Save towards the end 
of the Session, when by special order the House is adjourned 
without question put, a Minister moves the adjournment as 
soon as the business on the paper has been disposed of 
The last daily entry in the Journals of the House uses a 
formula more precise in its repetition even than the scheming 
Scheherazade's welcome of the daylight that brought her 
fresh respite. Taking the entry of the 15th of February, 
in the current year, for example, it is written : " And then 
the House having continued to sit till one minute after twelve 
of the clock on Friday morning, adjourned till this day." 

With necessary variation of hour and day, this is through 
the centuries the last thing written in the Journal of a 
sitting of the House of Commons. About the " And then " 
there is discernible a touch of grateful relief on the part of 
the Clerk at the close of a more or less laborious sitting. 

Another peculiarity of diction in the Journals is found in 
the formula recording divisions. When the Speaker calls a 
"The Yeas division he says, " The ayes to the right the noes 
have It." to the left." In far-off times, some dead and 
forgotten Clerk of the House of Commons recording such an 
event naturally dropped into the vernacular of his quiet 
home or the busy street. He accordingly wrote, " The 
House divided, the yeas to the right the noes to the left." 
Adding the figures he concluded the entry with the cooing 
remark, " So it passed in the negative," or in the affirmative, 
as the case might be. Thus it is phrased in the Twentieth 
Century. 

These are small things but their touch carries us far 
back, realising in a flash the antiquity of the mother of 
Parliaments. 

In the volume of the Journal from which I quote, being 
the 156th, there appears a valuable hint to members about 
to bring on questions of breach of privilege. In the closing 



1902 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



539 



days of the Session of 1901, the Globe frankly discussed 
some recent performance of the Irish members a splendid 
under the heading " Irish Rowdies." Had the Advertisement. 
incident been ignored by the persons affronted it would have 
passed into comparative obscurity and by this time been 
forgotten. Like most 
people habitually prone 
to make violent personal 
attacks on others, the 
Irish members are quick 
to resent approach to 
reprisals. Desirous 
above all things to vindi- 
cate order and to resent 
the use of strong lan- 
guage, Mr, John Dillon 
brought the article under 
the notice of the House 
as a breach of privilege. 
It was accordingly read 
at the Table of the 
House, with the im- 
mediate consequence 
that the offensive lines 

were republished by every paper in the kingdom, the 
publication complained of being increased a thousandfold. 

But the Globe received another and more permanent adver- 
tisement. In accordance with usage, order was made that 
the offending article should be entered in the Journals of 
the House. There it stands at this day, and there it will 
remain for all time, showing how some publicists, writing in 
the first year of the new century, regarded the Irish members 
as " political mercenaries from the Sister Isle," and regretted 
" their recent outrageous behaviour." 




MR. DILLON ON THE GLOBE. 



A good deal is heard from time to time of Sir Benjamin 
Stone's collection of photographs relating to Parliamentary 
life. The photographs taken on the Terrace of the House 



540 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

of Commons, multitudinous as they are, form only a section 
Photographer ^f this unique collection. Like Ulysses, much 
Extraordinary, has Sir Benjamin travelled, much of men and 
cities has he seen. Before he entered the House as member 
for East Birmingham he visited Japan, China, the Straits 
Settlements, Asia Minor, the West Indies, the Rocky 
Mountains, Vancouver, and the River Amazon, not to 
mention ordinary accomplishment in the way of historic 
places on the Continent of Europe. Wherever he went he 
carried with him his camera, bringing home photographs of 
whatever he saw. Nor are these of the ordinary snap-shot 
character common to Cook's tourists. They are works of art, 
skilful use of the platinum process giving them the appear- 
ance rather of engravings than of photographs. The fact is, 
if Sir Benjamin had not been dazzled by the dignity of being 
five times Mayor of Sutton-Coldfield, he would have been — 
perhaps he is — the most successful photographist of the age. 
In addition to being an artistic photographer he is an 
accomplished writer, having recorded in several volumes his 
travels in Japan, Brazil, Spain, and Norway. His practice, 
extended over many years, has been that when he takes a 
photograph of a memorable scene or a distinguished person 
he writes a descriptive note, which is affixed to the picture 
when it is stored away and catalogued. The consequence 
is that his collection, which now numbers 25,000 separate 
plates, is an unparalleled pictorial history of the world. 

This rare achievement will not be lost to the public and 
to posterity. Sir Benjamin tells me he has bequeathed 
An Interesting ^^^ Collection to the care of trustees, with direc- 
Bequest. tion to take whatever steps they in their judgment 
think best calculated to add to the instruction and enter- 
tainment of the public. Whether the pictures, with personal 
notes or descriptions of scenery, shall be published in book 
form, or whether they shall be deposited in some public 
institution, is a matter Sir Benjamin leaves to the unfettered 
discretion of the trustees. Amongst the series of pictures of 
immediate home interest are photographs of every part of 
the interior of the structure of the Palace of Westminster. 



I902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 541 

The Tower of London has been dealt with in the same 
minute and masterly fashion. 

During the summer Session Sir Benjamin Stone had a 
rich harvest of celebrities in the foreign, Indian, and Colonial 
celebrities coming over for the Coronation. His studio is a 
portion of the Terrace belonging to the deserted section 
pertaining to the House of Lords. With quick artistic eye 




SIK B. STONE POSING A SUBJECT. 



he discovered the usefulness of the accessory of a wrought- 
iron gateway opening on to the Terrace. With this back- 
ground his subjects are posed. It is a memorable procession, 
including all the more famous past and present members 
who have held seats during the last seven years. In addition 
is the fringe of foreign notabilities who flock to the Lobby of 
the House of Commons. The latest photograph of Mr. 
Chamberlain was taken by Sir Benjamin on the day peace 
was signed at Pretoria. 

Talking about the charge of inconsistency brought against 



542 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

him, seeing that he, once the risen hope of the Radical party, 
A young ^^ now the chief buttress of a Ministry of strong 
Imperialist. Imperialistic tendencies, Mr, Chamberlain tells 
me a curious and interesting story. Forty-five years ago he, 
having just reached his majority, took an active part in can- 
vassing Birmingham against Mr. John Bright. The great 
Corn Leaguer, then ousted from Manchester, was his beau 
ideal of a political leader save in one respect. Mr. Bright 
was directly antagonistic to what in these days has come to 
be called Imperialism. 

It was the year of the China War. The situation is 
vividly described by Lord Palmerston in his address to the 
electors of Tiverton : " An insolent barbarian, breathing 
authority at Canton, violated the British Flag, broke the 
engagements of treaties, offered rewards for the heads of 
British subjects in that part of China, and planned their 
destruction by murder, assassination, and poison." After 
describing how a vote of censure on the Government was 
" carried by a combination of political parties not till this 
last Session united," Lord Palmerston asks, " Will the British 
nation give their support to men who hav^e thus endeavoured 
to make the humiliation and degradation of their country the 
stepping-stone to power ? " 

Young Joseph Chamberlain, in a voice not then familiar 
in public life, emphatically answered " No," and did his best 
to prevent Birmingham affording John Bright sanctuary after 
being driven from Manchester on account of his hostility to 
Lord Palmerston. Thus was the political child father of the 
Imperialist statesman of to-day. 

Wherever two or three lawyers are gathered together, 
stories about Frank Lockwood still crop up. His oldest 

Frank fn'cnds, his warmest admirers at the Bar, admit 
Lockwood. that soundness of knowledge on difificult points 
of law was not his especial gift or the basis of his high 
reputation. Of equity he knew hardly anything, a circum- 
stance that did not prevent his accepting a brief involving 
equity rules and principles. 



I902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 543 

With one such in his hand, he was arguing one day 
when the judge, who knew his weak point, blandly said, 
" Which do you think, Mr. Lockwood, is the case bearing 
most directly upon your line of argument ? " 

" My lord," Lockwood quickly answered, " there are so 
many cases in my mind I do not like to discriminate." 

He later got out of a similar difficulty in a case involving 
an alleged breach of patent. The counsel on the other side, 
most learned in the matter, talked fluently about various 
kinds of dynamos. Lockwood, as one of his friends in court 
remarked, would not have known one dynamo from another 
if he had met them walking arm in arm along Pall Mall. 
In this dilemma he turned towards the jury with flushed 
face, and indignantly said, " Dynamos ! What, gentlemen, do 
we care about these things .'' Let us get at the truth." 

I do not know whether he got at the truth. He certainly 
got his verdict. 

The third story relates to a judge, now gone to a higher 
court, who had an ineradicable, embarrassing habit of 
interrupting counsel. One day he was so aggravating that 
Lockwood, who was addressing the jury, ventured upon 
respectful remonstrance. 

" Well, well," said the judge, " I shall reserve my remarks 
till I sum up." 

"Yes, my lord," said Lockwood quietly ; " that, I believe, 
is the usual course." 

Some years ago I shared with Frank Lockwood the 
honour of being the guest of the Sheffield Press Club at their 
annual dinner. I remember the twinkle in his eye that 
flashed over a little aside in a speech responding to the toast 
of his health. Alluding to his long connection with Sheffield 
in the capacity of Recorder, he said : " I hope that during 
the ten years I was connected with this city I gave satisfac- 
tion " (here the company broke into a loud cheer). " I 

was about to add," continued Lockwood, gravely, " I gave 
satisfaction to those gentlemen who came before me in my 
judicial capacity. I did not realise till I heard the applause 
that there were so many present here to-night." 



CHAPTER XLVIII 

DECEMBER 

Lord James of Hereford holds a position unique among 

English public men. As every one knows, at the time when 

the Liberal Party was riven by Mr. Gladstone's 

Unique. ... ._ itt t->i c^- 

naihng its nag to the Home Rule mast bir 
Henry James (as he then ranked) was tempted to stand by 
his old chief by offer of the Lord Chancellorship. For con- 
science' sake he, to his honour, declined a prize dear to the 
heart of the barrister who has made his mark in politics. It 
is less widely known that at an earlier date the certainly not 
less lofty position of Speaker of the House of Commons was 
within his grasp. On the retirement of Sir Henry Brand, 
Mr. Gladstone, on the look-out for a worthy successor, 
approached his Attorney-General with offer of the Speaker- 
ship. Having carefully considered the position and his own 
prospects. Sir Henry James begged to be excused. 

It was a stock criticism of Mr. Gladstone that, whilst an 
admirable judge and complete master of people en masse, he 
failed justly to estimate the possibilities of individual men. 
This incident certainly gives the lie to carping criticism. 
Sir Henry James would have made a model Speaker. Pre- 
eminently a man of judicial mind, long trained in courts of 
law, he has the ready wit, the facile yet precise gift of speech, 
and, not least, the fine presence which are essential to perfect 
success in the Chair. 

One important result of the establishment under the new 

544 



1902 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



545 



Pairing. 



rules of a fixed dinner-hour has been greatly to ease, if not 
altogether remove, the strain for dinner pairs. 
Under the old order of things, with some estim- 
able gentlemen the first duty of a member of Parliament on 
coming down to the House was to look for a pair. Questions 
over, they made their way into the Lobby and began the 
anxious hunt. The old stagers familiar at this game were 




THE VISION OF THE WOOLSACK. 



naturally Ministerialists. Their normal condition of being 
in a vast majority is in this respect increased by the fact 
that the Irish Nationalist members are forbidden to pair. 
The hunt was consequently limited to Liberal members who, 
as the dinner-hour approached, found themselves objects of 
endearing regard by members opposite who wanted to get 
away for dinner and dare not pass the Whips on guard at 
the door unless they had paired. 

2 N 



546 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 1902 

Some years ago, a compassionate observer of this daily 
quandary, I threw out a practical suggestion. Why should 
not members on either side in search of a dinner pair wear 
a bit of coloured ribbon in their buttonhole indicating 
their desire? If that were too simple a device for adoption 
by legislators, it would be easy to keep in an accessible 
place in the Library or Tea Room a book in which might 
be written the names of members on either side desiring 
a dinner pair. Under either system an arrangement would 
be quickly made, members being spared the wearisome 
search. 

The idea was very popular in the House, but no one 
took on himself to arrange for putting it in practice. 
Nothing came of it, and the dreary afternoon's hunt by 
haggard-eyed members went on as before. 

A fresh danger has developed under the new rule. But 

it chiefly affects His Majesty's Ministers. The sitting being 

suspended at 7. 30, members are free to go off 

A real Danger. i- i i .1, 

to dmner on the understandmg that they will 
again be in their places at nine o'clock, when business 
recommences. For an ordinary dinner at a club, or a quiet 
meal at home within reasonable distance of Westminster, an 
hour and a half should serve. In the case of joining a 
dinner-party, it is cutting it a little fine to leave the House 
^t 7.30, go home and dress, get to your destination, and be 
back on the stroke of nine. 

Failure to observe the understanding is, however, a 
serious matter for the Ministry. The greater number of the 
Irish Nationalists do not leave the precincts of the House 
during the dinner-hour. Many others on the Opposition side 
find the place more comfortable than any alternative offered 
to them, and also remain. On more than one occasion 
during the earlier part of the Session Ministers had some 
exceedingly anxious moments as the fingers of the clock 
slowly moved beyond the figure IX. It several times 
happened that for fifteen or twenty minutes the strongest 
Ministry of modern times was actually at the mercy of the 
Opposition. The latter, borrowing the tactics of Brer 



1902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 547 

Rabbit, had only to " lay low, say nuffin," and rush a division. 
On one occasion, on a really important issue, they ran the 
Government majority down to twenty-nine. 

It was after this that the Whips devised a system which, 
if it would only work, would keep the fort safely garrisoned. 
The Ministerial forces were divided into two wings, 

1 4- • '^""•'•^ Shifts. 

one moiety pledged to be m their places at nine 
o'clock sharp on Monday and Wednesday nights, the other 
mustering on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Excellent in theor\', 
this did not equal expectation in practice. Members of the 
House of Commons are, after all, only human. In the 
human breast there is ineradicable tendency to believe that 
some one else, equally pledged in such circumstances, is sure 
to be punctual, and if you are unavoidably a little late no 
danger to the Empire will accrue. 

The working of this sanguine view of other people's 
reliability was shown with increasing force as the Session 
lengthened. With a majority which, even after Leeds, 
exceeds 1 30 the Ministry should be safe between 9 and 
9.30 P.M. Experience shows that they are not, and some 
night there will be grievous calamity. 

If these things are done in the green tree, what shall be 
done in the dry? If a majority of 130 cannot be depended 
upon to hold the fort between 9 and 10 P.M., what would 
happen in the case of a majority of forty — all Mr. Gladstone 
had at his command ten years ago, when he carried the 
Home Rule Bill ? 

The only hope of salvation for His Majesty's Ministers 
is alteration of the dinner-hour through the London season. 
Of late years it has steadily advanced. Most of society's 
us can remember a time when invitations were Dinner-hour, 
issued for 7.45, with the understanding that the guests would 
be seated at table on the stroke of eight. Perhaps, in 
the majority of cases, eight o'clock is the hour now named, 
with the understanding that no one shall be later than 8.15. 
But the fashion of inviting guests to dinner at 8.15, dinner 
being served a quarter of an hour later, is growing. In such 
circumstances it is obviously impossible for members of the 



548 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



1902 



House of Commons dining out to be on guard at West- 
minster at nine o'clock. 

Compared with the federation of the Empire or a penny 
off or on the income-tax this may seem a trivial matter. In 
the Whips' Room it is recognised that upon it may depend 
the fate of the Ministry. In the dinner-hour of Friday, 
2 1st of June 1895, Lord Rosebery's Government was 
defeated in the House of Commons by a majority of seven. 




THE COKDITE CONSPIRACV — MR. BRODRICK APPLIES THE TORCH. 



The occasion was apparently trivial, an attack on the 
administration of the W'ar Office affecting the supply of 
cordite. Had the Ministerialists foreseen the gravity of the 
issue they would have remained at their posts and repelled 
the guerilla attack. They thought little about it, went off to 
dinner, and came back to learn that the Ministry had been 
defeated. On the following Monday Sir William Harcourt 
announced the resignation of the Government, a step that 
made way for Lord Salisbury's third Administration. 

What stupendous phases of history followed thereupon, 



1902 LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 549 

succeeding each other through seven memorable years, we 
know. But few of us reflect on the circumstance that the 
possibility was created b}^ a snatch division taken in the 
dinner-hour in a half-empty House. 

I hear from one of the house-party a pretty story of an 
adventure that some years ago befell one of our hereditary 
legislators. It happened before he came into the ^^^ cross 
peerage. He was staying at a country house Purposes, 
honoured by the presence of the Prince and Princess of 
Wales, now our gracious Sovereigns. Her Royal Highness 
having retired for the night, the gentlemen of the party sat 
down to cards. In the course of a game at whist one 
gentleman, whom we will call A., revoked, an incident made 
the subject of much good-humoured remonstrance. 

The heir to a peerage, whom we will call B., in due time 
went off to bed. Opening what he believed was his bedroom 
door, he, to his horror, discovered that he had happed on 
that belonging to the Princess of Wales (Queen Alexandra). 
He was so upset by the accident that, making some excuse, 
he left the house after an early breakfast and fled back to 
town. 

The Princess came down to luncheon on the day 
following the awkward incident and found herself seated 
by A. He was the object of renewed chaff about his revok 
ing, veiled allusions to the slip being made. Her Royal 
Highness, not having heard of the incident at the card-table 
and not quite catching the drift of the conversation, turned 
to A. and, with an amused smile, said : " So it was j'oji who 
made the little mistake last nisrht ? " 

A., who had not heard of the bedroom incident and was 
full of his own misadventure, bowed his head and blushingly 
said : " Yes ; but I assure your Royal Highness it's not a 
thing I'm accustomed to do." 

It was not till he met B. in London a week later that he 
realised the scope of his confession. 



INDEX 



Abercromby, Rt. Hon. James, 
Baron Dunfermline, Speaker 
in 1837 515 

Abraham, W. , member for Gla- 
morgan (Rhondda), Welsh 
bard under title of Mabon 375 

Acland : 

Rt. Hon. A. H. D., e.x-Vice- 

President of the Council 301, 338 
Sir Thomas Dyke 338 

Adam, Sir William, Liberal 

Whip, 1874 267 

Governor of Madras 270 

Reference 283 

Addington, Henry, Baron Sid- 
mouth, Speaker, 1789 255 

Addison, Joseph, reference 17 

Admiralty, a colloquy at the 31 

Agnew, Sir William 210 

Airlie, David Stanley, loth Earl 

of, killed in South Africa 407 

Airy, Sir R. 339 

Akers- Douglas, Rt. Hon. A., 

reference 28 

Albemarle, George Thomas 
Keppel, 6th Earl of, his 
early impression of Glad- 
stone 236 

Albert, Prince. See Prince 
Consort 

Alberta, the Queen's yacht, refer- 
ence 352 

Alexandra, Queen : 

anecdote respecting 549 

Reference 450 

Alfonso Xni., King of Spain, 

reference 83 

Allan, Sir William, member for 

Gateshead 430 

Allen, W. , member for New- 

castle-under-Ly me 430 

Allerton, W. L. Jackson, ist 



Lord, Financial Secretary to 

the Treasury 226 

Althorp, Lord, afterwards 3rd 
Earl Spencer : 
Chancellor of the E.xchequer, 

1830-34 94 

References 248, 280 

Alverstone, Richard E. Webster, 
I St Lord, sketch by Sir 
Frank Lockwood 136, 137 

Ameer of Afghanistan, reference 130 

Annals of Our Time, reference 

and quotation 190 

Anne, Queen : 

the Act passed during her 
reign relating to ministerial 
appointments 499. Soo 

the Harcourt family in that 

period 525-527 
Statute relating to the succes- 
sion, reference 537 

' ' Another place " 86 

Appropriation Bill, reference 440 

Arabi Pasha 438 

Arch, Joseph : 

attitude of the Squirearchy 

towards 63 

an honoured guest at Sand- 

ringham 64 

Argyll : 

Archibald, 3;'(/Z'//X'fof( 1742) : 

his opposition to Walpole 216 

John, ^th. Duke, reference 463 

George Douglas Campbell, 8M 
Duke, his opposition to 
Gladstone on the Home 
Rule question 214, 215 
References 146, 154 
John Douglas Sutherland, 9/A 
Duke (Marquis of Lome), 
emolument as Governor of 
Windsor Castle 163 



551 



552 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



Armitstead, George 220, 221 

Ashbourne, Edward Gibson, ist 
Lord : 

a Lord of Appeal 204 

anecdote respecting 373, 374 

Ashburton, Francis D. E. Baring, 

Sth Lord, reference 94 

Ashley, Cropley. See Shaftes- 
bury, 6th Earl 
Ashley, Lord. See Shaftesbury, 

7th Earl 
Ashley, Hon. Evelyn, the cause 

of an " oratorical gem " 283 

Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis : ' 

Be/lowing contumely 52 

Crushed again ...96,97 

how regarded by the House 152 

more successful in electioneer- 
ing 174 

Wrong Aga in 175 

omitted in Lord Salisbury's 

third administration 226-228 

A Russian Bath in the House 

of Commons 286 

The Humble Function of the 

Football 227 

References 264, 307, 331, 395, 417 
Asquith, Rt. Hon. H. H. : 

intends to be Prime Minister 120 

obiter dicta concerning him 121-122 
his revision of Justice Day's 

sentences 353 

References 74, 386, 423 

Astley, Sir John 37 

Atterbury, Francis, Bishop of 

Rochester ...47,48 

Austin, Alfred (Poet Laureate), 

reference 448 

Austria, Francis L, Emperor of 93 

Avebury, John Lubbock, ist 

Lord, reference 226 

Ayrton, A. S. , his unpopularity 102 

Bacon, Francis, Lord Verulam, 

references . . .46, 68 

Bacon, Sir Nicholas, Lord 
Keeper of the Great Seal to 
Queen Elizabeth 46 

Balfour : 

Rt. Hon. Arthur : 

Awfully cold 51 

Substance and shadow 108 

The Race for the Leadership 131 

his indifference to news- 
papers 169, 170 

precise memory 277 

his view of a nominal sup- 
porter 299 

oratorical gestures 321 



Balfour : ( Conf. ) : 

Rt. Hon. Arthur: {Cont.): 

Do you know him? 326 

Writing a letter to the Queen 400 

The brothers Balfour 416 

An eloquent gesture of de- 
spair 439 

Lobby sprinting 441 

Is that Shaw-Lefevre ? 50 1 

indifference to titles 531 

references 7, 25, 29, 57, 

109, no, 128-134, 156, 161, 
166, 168, 214, 263, 313, 317, 
335- 359. 360, 415. 418, 420, 
421, 423, 436, 440, 444, 496, 
502, 519, 520, 530 
Sir George, K.C.B. 13, 17 

Rt. Hon. Gerald W. : 
his message received with 

const irpat ion 34 

resemblance to his brother no 

The Chief Secretary s fragile 

frame 280 

The brothers Balfour 416 

references 85,415 

General Nisbet, member for 

Arundel (1796) 461 

Balloting 290 

Making a Pudding 291 

Baptism by immersion 272 

Barings, the two. See Ash- 
burton and Northbrook 
Bartiaby Rudgc, alluded to ...87,88 

Barrie, J. M. 402 

Barrington, Sir W. Hartington, 
7th Viscount, sometime Vice- 
Chamberlain, made a Peer 
by Lord Beaconsfield 264, 265, 337 
Bartlett, Ashmead. iVc Ashmead- 
Bartlett 
Bartley, G. C. T. 335, 343, 412, 

413- 501 
Barttelot, Sir Walter G. : 

A Horrible Discovery ...40,41 

Reference 450 

Battenberg, Princess Henry of 
(H.R.H. Princess Beatrice), 

her presence of mind 82 

Beach, W. W. B. 148, 149, 155 

Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli, 
Earl of: 

In the Place of Disraeli 133 

Placing a Coronet on his Braiu 145 

his pension 262 

The Lost Fye-Glass 264, 265 

effects of his withdrawal from 

the House 336, 337 

his dilemma, Wound up aiid 

Timed 458, 459 



INDEX 



553 



Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli, 
Earl of : ( Coni. ) : 

' his oratorical efforts, Rehears- 
ing 475 

References 13, 38, 49, 53, 

76, 80, 98, 99, 105, 119, 134, 144, 
147, 148, 198, 199, 226, 250, 278, 
294, 311, 312, 319, 320, 325, 326, 

334. 348, 422, 434. 444. 454. 461. 
503, 528, 531, 534 
Beatrice, Princess. See Batten- 
berg 

Beaufoy, M. H. 58 

Becket, Thomas a 35 

Bedchamber women question, 

the 249 

Bedford, 5th Duke of, reference 463 

Beefeater, iemp. Henry VIII 222 

Belgians, King of the, reference 444 

Bellingham, John, the murderer 
of Mr. Spencer Perceval, 
references 409, 463 

Benedetti Treaty, the, reference 185 

Bentinck : 

Cavendish, "Big Ben" and 

" Little Ben" 462 

William Henry Cavendish, 
afterwards 4th Duke of 

Portland, reference 462 

Beresford, Lord Charles : 

anecdote — / shan't sign ihc 

Estimates 31 

risks a new hat ••■96,97 

one of the Pigtail Party 336 

Reference 209 

Berkeley, Hon. G. C. G. F., 
member for West Gloucester 

(1832), reference 528 

Bernal, R. (1836), afterwards R. 

Bernal Osborne, reference 523 

Betham-Edwards, M. 170 

Biddulph, M. 156 

Biggar, J. G. : 

his four hours' speech 480 

References 37, 39, 40, 

56, 196, 197, 318, 465, 490 
Billeting, the charges of licensed 

victuallers 484 

Billingsley, temp. Charles II 495 

Bills, bringing in 293 

Birmingham, Charles Gore, 
Bishop of, his story of the 
dying pickpocket 308, 309 

Birrell, Augustine, Q.C. : 

his " good things " 26 

Obiter Dicta 27 

Black Rod, Picrsued by the 

Treasury 343 

References 223, 341-344, 367, 510 



Boehm, Joseph Edgar : 

observes the effect of Mr. 

Gladstone's eye 383, 384 

Reference 8 

Bona-Jide traveller, the 432 

Boots, the, of a sleepy member 42 

Borthwick, Algernon. SecQA&r^- 

esk. Lord 
Bouverie, Edward, an early 

member 462 

Bowles : 

Rear- Admiral, member in 

1845 173 

Thomas Gibson : 

his nautical dress 91 

Cap'eii Tommy Bowles of the 

Horse Marines 173 

His Corner Seat 302 

Mr. Gedge in Possession 303 

Toujoiirs Gedge 304 

renounces journalism 404 

one of the Raiders 412 

References 226, 227, 335, 

343- 413 
Boys, C. v., of the Electric 

Telegraph Company 442, 443 
Brabourne, Edward Knatchbull- 
Hugessen, ist Lord, refer- 
ence 58 

Bradlaugh, Charles, references 54, 196, 

334. SOI 
Brand : 

Sir H. See Hampden, 
Viscount 

President, Orange Free State 436 

Bright, Rt. Hon. John : 

his hats 80 

his letter on the Home Rule 

question 190-193 

his carelessness with regard to 

health 211, 212 

Chamberlain antagonistic to 542 

References 56, 155, 167, 334, 

336. 370, 473. 474. 504. 505 
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. W. St. J. F. , 
Secretary for War : 
Reading Lord Kitchener s De- 
spatch 507 

Cordite Conspiracy, applying 

the torch 548 

References 438, 464 

Brodrick, William, Secretary to 
East India Board, temp. 

George III. 463 

Brotherton, Joseph, member for 

Salford (1836) 524 

Brougham, Henry, Lord : 
Lord Chancellor, 1830: 
Baron for the port of Winchelsea. . . . 467 



554 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



Brougham, Henry, Lord: (Co/it): 

as a Baron of the Cinqrie Ports 469 

disposal of his share of the 

Coronation Canopy 472 

Reference 467 

Brown, A. H. 156 

Browne : 

Hablot K., portraits after 248, 249 
John, Clerk of the Parliament, 

1683, reference 367 

Brunner, Sir John, Bart. : 

his idea at the outbreak of the 

Hispano-American War 205 

No thanks, I don't want a7iy 

Ironclads to-day 206 

Buckingham, George Villiers, 

Duke of, reference 35 

Bulls 488 

Bungay, a malefactor, temp- 

Charles II. 496 

Burdett, Sir Francis, reference 94 

Burdett-Coutts, W. L. A. B. . 

references 417, 501 

Burgh, Hubert de, reference 35 

Burke, Edmund : 

his interview with Arthur 

Young 170 

described by a German 

traveller 241 

References 17, 238, 473, 474 

Burnand, Sir Francis : 

entertains Mr. Gladstone at a 

Punch <^\\\x\^x 209 

Reference 57 

Burt, Thomas : 

allusion to his maiden speech 63 

References 156, 284, 450, 451 

Buxton : 

Robert John, a member in 

1796 462 

Sir Thomas Fowell, Bart., 
figures in Hayter's picture 
of the Parliament of 1 833 94 

Cabinet Councils 48 

Cabinet Council of two, in bed 50 

Cadogan, George Henry, 5th 

Earl, reference 146 

Caine, W. S. , Keeping Mr. 

Bright advised 1 9 1 - 1 9 3 

Caldwell, James : 

a " Platitudiniser " 103, 104 
An Amendment by Mr. Cald- 
well 421 

enjoys himself 496 

.VIr. Caldwell at Work 497 

References 33, 201, 331, 361, 422 
Caledon, E. J. D. . 5th Earl, his 

connection with Old Sarum 395 



Callias 51 

Canning, George : 

quoted 283, 522 

References 145. 234, 284, 394, 463 

Cambridge, Duke of, reference 356 

Cameron, Sir Charles, reference 156 

Campbell : 

Colonel, h\s Letters from Camp 
duri?ig the Siege of Sebas- 

topol, quoted 339 

Rt. Hon. J. A., member for 
Glasgow and Aberdeen 

Universities, reference 417 

Lord John Douglas, after- 
wards 7th Duke of Argyll, 

reference 463 

Sir George : 

Lieut. -Governor of Bengal 13 

What a featfnl Creattire 15 

References 14, 16, 17 

Campbell-Bannerman : 

Rt. Hon. Sir Henry 118 

The only Safe Place 312 

A Difficult Moun t 313 

References 119, 122, 156, 

356, 410, 417, 496 
Canterbury, Archbishop of. See 

Howley 
Caroline, Queen, references to 

her trial 467, 469 

Carlisle, Frederick, 5th Earl, 

reference 371 

Carlyle, Thomas, Gladstone's 

opinion of his Cromwell 360 

Carnarvon, H. H. M. Herbert, 
4th Earl, Colonial Secre- 
tary .-74-78 

Reference 503 

Catching the Speaker's eye 19 

Catholic University in Dublin 

Bill, reference 370 

Cattermole, George, drawing by 88 

Cavagnari, Sir Louis, reference 379 

Cavendish : 

Lord Frederick, his blood- 
stained coat 62 

Lord George Henry, brother 
to the 7th Duke of Devon- 
shire, reference 462 

Cecil : 

Evelyn, nephew to Lord Hugh 

Cecil 416 

Lord Hugh : 

resemblance to his cousin 109 

References 408, 416, 417, 431 

Lord Robert. See Salisbury, 

Marquis of 
Sir Robert, High Treasurer to 

Queen Elizabeth 401, 402, 420 



INDEX 



555 



Central News Agency: reference 442 

Cetewayo, reference to his 

capture 378 

Chacevelin, Monsieur 330 

Chairman of Committees 498 

Challemel - Lacour, Monsieur, 

reference 289 

Chamberlain : 

Rt. Hon. J. Austen, as 

Financial Secretary 499 

Rt. Hon. Joseph : 

/;/ the place of Disraeli 1 33 

Bracing him up 167 

Joseph addressing his breth- 
ren 189 

Who knew not Jemmy 226 

Mr. Chamberlain takes a 

note 277 

Do you know himf 326 

References 93, 128-130, 

134, 156, 166, 168, 182-190, 192, 
193, 215, 218-220, 225, 227, 298, 
415, 436, 444, 450, 452-454, 482, 

519. 520, 532. 541. 542 
Chancellor of the Exchequer. 
See Hicks-Beach, Sir M., 
and Ritchie, C. T. 
his robes 527, 528 

Channel Tunnel Bill, reference 452 

Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry : 

0?i a back bench 407 

Reference 156 

Charles : 
I. King: 

a love-letter 364, 365 

arrest of the Bishops 510 

the five members 511 

Just popping in — / hope I 

don' t intrude 512 

Disapproval 512 

References 68, 270, 409, 

512, 513, 516 
Charles : 
n.. King: 

a mace presented to Jamaica 

by 271 

romance of the Prayer-Book 366, 367 
frequently sat in House of 

Lords 476, 477 

news-letters of the period 495 

Reference 516 

Chiffner, Henry, member for 
Minehead, 1762 : 
References 393, 394 

Childers, Rt. Hon. H. C. E. , 

references 435-439. 460 

Christian, Prince. 5ff Schleswig 

Holstein 
Church, Professor, reference 44 



Churchill : 

Lord Randolph : 

sketch of portrait after E. A. 

Ward 84 

his bust 20I 

his memoirs 340 

the Fourth Party 411 

References 40, 83, 95, 118, 

120, 129, 131, 132, 166, 232, 284, 

341, 342, 369, 384, 411, 425, 446, 

447, 452, 453, 462, 528 

Winston, L. S. : 85 (n. ), 341 (n.), 

406, 425, 426 

Cinque Ports : 

The Bold Barons and the 

Canopy 470 

the Barons' march on Lon- 
don 467-472 
Civil List : 

William the Fourth's 426 

side lights on the 447 

committee of 1889 449 

Clarence, Duke of, costs of his 

funeral 448 

Clarendon, Lord, History of the 

Rebellion quoted 364 

Clark : 

Dr. , reference 430 

Sir Andrew, reference 211 

Clarke, Sir Edward, reference 389 

Clergyman, a, becomes an 

M.P. 205 

Clerk of the Parliament : 

John Browne (1683) 367 

References 342-344, 392 

Clinton, Lord Edward Pelham 339 

Cliveden, the birthplace of the 

Irish Church Bill 154 

Cobbett, William, appears in 

Hayter's picture of 1833 94 

Cobden : 

Richard, references 228, 529 

Club, incident at a dinner of 

the 229 

Cockburn, Ale.xanderofLangton, 
Heritable Usher of Scot- 
land 24s 

Coercion Bills, reference 56 

Cohen, Arthur, reference 267 

Coleridge : 

Lord Chief Justice 30 

Sir Frank Lockwood's portraits 

of 139. 140 

References .-31. 5^ 

Coleridge, Bernard, 2nd Lord, 

reference 5^ 

Colley, Sir George 435, 436 

Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse : 

Three Acres and a Cow 170 



556 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse : (Conf. ) : 

Leads the Attack 182 

References 128, 183, 220, 

226, 231, 232 

Colonial Grievance, a 156 

Columb, Rt. Hon. Sir John, 

reference 163 

Compton, Earl. See North- 
ampton, Marquis of 

Condor, the, reference 96 

Coningsby, reference 145 

Connelly, Thomas, reference 37 

Conybeare, C. A. V. 15, 202 

Corbett, W. J., his pension 163 

Cork and Orrery, R. E. St. 

Lawrence, 9th Earl 489-491 

Corner seat, the siege of the 303 

Cornwall : 

Duke of. See Wales, Prince of 

Mr., referred to by Hatsell 255 

Coronation Honours 530 

Corry, Sir James 450 

Courtney, Rt. Hon. Leonard H. : 

Mr. Coi/rfney's Back up 21 

References 22, 47, 226, 

303, 404, 498 
Coventry, William, member in 

1675 255 

Cowen, Joseph : 

A Parliamentary Benefactor 288 

The Hermit of Blaydon-on- 

Tytie 347 

A Shadow of the Past 348 

The Conspirators of Europe 349 

quoted 350-352 

References 287, 346, 349 

Cowper, 7th Earl, reference 146 

Cranborne, Lord. See Salis- 
bury, 4th Marquis 
Cromwell, Oliver : 

The CromivcU Statue 359 • 360 

References 270, 271, 494, 536 

Cross : 

Richard A. , Viscount : 

Got no IVork to Do 414 

A Pensioner 261 

Reference 262 

Sir Robert, temj>. Elizabeth 428 

Cross-benches, the 158 

Crown Private Estates Act, 

reference 479 

Crypts and vaults of the Houses 

of Parliament, searching the 222 

Currie, Sir Donald 356 

Curzon of Kedleston : 
George N. ist Lord ; 

his career 129, 130 

Viceroy of India 278 

Reference 227 



Curzon : 

Robert , temp. George HI 462 

Viscount. See Howe, Earl 
Cast, Henry J. C. , former Editor 

Pall Mall Gazette, reference 406 

Czar. See Russia, Emperor of 

Daily News, The, its attitude on 

the Home Rule question 216, 

217, 220 

Daily Sittings, the length of 317 

Daily Telegraph, TIic, on brawlers 

in the House 138 

Dalrymple, Sir Charles, reference 417 

Dalziel, J. H. : 

says things 406 

References 405, 430 

Darner : 

Dawson, reference 463 

Lionel, an old member of the 

House 462 

David Copperfield, reference 381 

Davies, David, reference 37 

Davey of Fernhurst, Lord, a 

Lord of Appeal 204 

Davitt, Michael : 

his prison life ...64, 65 

Reference 280 

Day, Sir J. C. Justice, Dies Irce 353 

Dear Lady Disdain, reference 404 

Death Duties Budget, reference 251 

Deceased Wife's Sister Bill : 

The Deceased Wife' s Sister 256 

References 459, 460 

Delahuntj', Mr. 37 

Demagogues in the House 283 

Democracy and Liberty, by 

Lecky, quoted 382 

Denison, Rt. Hon. J. E. , after- 
wards Viscount Ossington, 
Speaker, references 94, 256, 

325. 346 
Denman, Thomas, 2nd Lord : 

jealous of his privileges 204 

takes charge of Women's 

Suffrage Bill 298 

Lay low and said niiffin 299 

Depew, Chaimcey, Post-prandial 

humour 373, 374 

Derby : 

14/A Earl : 

notices Gladstone's maiden 

speech 98, 236, 237 

References 42, 99, 146, 

148, 279, 294 

iStk Earl 503, 505 

\(ith Earl, The Head of the 

A rmy and Chief of the Fleet 165 

Derby Day, reference 48 



INDEX 



557 



■254 

•527 

126 
226 

• 131 



80 

..87.89 

514 

510 



Devonshire : 
5th Duke : 

Reference 462 

8th Duke : 

IVii/i hat tilted over 

brow 75 

Strolling in late 167 

Bracing him up 167 

References 59, 128, 146, 166, 168, 
182, 183, 190, 192, 249, 250, 

450. 504 
Duchess of, wife of 5th Duke, 
obliged to retire from the 
Ladies Gallery 
Duchess of, wife of 8th Duke, 
her fancy dress ball 
De Worms, Rt. Hon. Baron H. : 
A Baron of High Degree 125, 
Shelved with a Peerage 225, 
Diary of the Gladstone Parlia- 
ment, quoted 

Dickens, Charles : 

size of his hat .. ., 

References 
Dictionary of National Bio- 
graphy, reference 
Digby, Lord, fefnp. Charles I., 

reference 
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir C. W., 

references 289, 303, 

411, 429, 430 
Dillon, John : 

gives the lie direct to Mr. 

Chamberlain 519 

Mr. Dillon on the Globe 539 

References 64, 259 

Dillwyn, L. L. , his claim to the 

corner seat 304-306 

Diplomatic Gallery, references 157, 158 
Disraeli, Rt. Hon. Benjamin. 

See Beaconsfield 
Dissentient Liberals, origin of 

the phrase 

Divisions : 

The Rush from the Lobby 

Division ..... 

A nguished Impotence 

Dod, a prehistoric 394 

Dod's grandfather 

Dodson, J. G. , afterwards Lord 

Monk Bretton, reference 346 

Doogan, P. C, his pension 163 

Door-keepers in the Commons 99 

Where's my Umbrella? 101 

Dowb, take care of, origin of 

phrase 314, 315 

Dowbiggin, Mr., reference 315 

Downing, Mr. M'Carthy, refer- 
ence 37 



.217 

2 

....3 

..96 

395 
.46T 



Doyle : 

Sir Conan, his candidature 402, 403 

Richard, Dicky Doyle, quoted 5, 6 

Drummond : 

Mr., an early member of 

Parliament 6 

Drummond- Wolff, Sir Henry. 

See Wolff, Sir H. D. 
Dublin, the terror caused by the 
assassination of Lord Fred. 

Cavendish 62 

Ducal duplicity, a story of 47 

Dudley, W. H. Ward. 2nd Earl, 

reference 164 

Duff, Rt. Hon. Sir M. E. Grant, 
his story of the Admiral's 

Rum 3S4 

Dufferin, ist Marquis, reference 329 

Du Maurier, George, his meeting 
with Gladstone at a Punch 
dinner 209, 210 

Dundas, Henry, afterwards Vis- 
count Melville : 

Reference 17 

his salary as Secretary for 
W'ar and President of India 

Board 464 

Dundee A dvetiiscr, The, reference 405 

Dyce, William, R.A., reference 43 

Dyer : 

George, friend of Charles 
Lamb, his absence of 

mind 272 

Sir T. Thistleton, reference 363 

Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Hart : 

Conservative Whip S 

finds the lost writ 145 

his bull 306 

References 156, 226, 227, 269 
Dynamos, Sir F. Lockwood on 543 

Early Letters to his Sister, by 

Disraeli, alluded to 145 

East India Company, renewal of 

charter 70 

Edinburgh Review, reference 94 

Edmonstone, Sir W. , Bart. , C. B. : 

The Admiral, his peculiarities 38 

Drawing the Admiral, process 

described 39 

Education Bill, reference 61 

Education, Committee of Council 

on 381 

Edward : 

I. , King, charter relating to 

the Cinque Ports 467 

The First of Scotland, question 

of the title 421 

III., King, reference 65 



558 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



Edward : ( Cont. ) : 

VI., King, his Book of 

Common Prayer 367 

VII., King: 

Size of his hat 80 

To see the King in his 

golden crown 418 

An Atnefidment by Air. 

Caldwell 421 

A popular /ignj-e — His 

Majesty /oh?i Bull 444 

a trained man of business 445 

his kindly tact 446, 447 

the Duchies 449 

the King and Parliament 476, 477 

the King's speech 522 

Coronation honours 530, 531 

accession 537 

References 283, 419, 427, 448, 

450-452, 467, 514, 515, 549 
Edwards : 

General, his pension 162 

Sir Henry : 

an old style member 76 

His statue jj 

On a tnal trip 78 

his death 79 

Eighty Club, reference 220 

Elcho, Lord, his double dealing 

with Derby Day . 48 

Eldon, John Scott, ist Earl, 
Lord Chancellor, temp. 

George III. 394 

Eleanor, wife of Edward I., 

crosses referred to 231 

Eleanor, wife of Henry III., 

reference 467 

Election fight, a fearsome 178 

Electric bells and their disadvan- 
tages, a night alarm 22 

Electric Telegraph Company, 

its monopoly 441, 442 
Elfin, The, Queen's yacht, refer- 
ence 352 

Elizabeth, Queen : 

her opening of Parliament 28 

her correspondence with Sir 

Robert Cecil 400-402 

References 46, 47, 231, 428, 521 

Elliott, Hon. Arthur Ralph, 

reference 405 

Ellis : 

General Sir Arthur, proposed 

reduction of salary 341, 342 

T. E. : 

Chief Liberal Whip 269 

his good nature and modesty 

274, 275 
Reference 301 



Elphinstone, Sir John 37 

Empress of India Bill, reference 347 

England in the Eighteenth 

Century, reference 27 

Eothen, by A. W. Kinglake, 

reference 308 

Erskine : 

Thomas, Lord Chancellor, 

1806, reference 17 

H. D. , reference 419 

Essex, Robert D. , 3rd Earl 28 

Eugenie, Empress, wife of 

Napoleon III. 364 

Evans : 

General Sir De Lacy, expounds 

the riddle of Doiub 314, 315 

Samuel T. 412, 430 

Eversley, Charles Shaw-Lefevre, 
Viscount : 

Is that Shaw-Lefevre ? 501 

the last Speaker using the 
privilege of making a speech 

at the prorogation 515 

References 58, 263 (n. ), 302 

Explosions at Whitehall and in 

the Crypt, their effect 87 

EjTe, Edward John, Governor of 
Jamaica, reference to the 
proceedings against 143, 144 

Fairfax, General Sir Thomas, 

1643 364 

Family circles in the Commons 416 

A Fd7nily Group 416 

Fardell, Sir Thomas G. , his 

pension 163 

Father of the House, The 148 

Fergusson, Rt. Hon. Sir James : 
brother to Sir Charles Dal- 

rymple 417 

References 226, 227 

Field, W., his prime hull 521 

Finch Hatton, Mr. See Win- 
chelsea, Earl 

Finigan, J. L. 40 

Fisher, W. Hayes, reference 298 

Fisheries (Oysters, Crabs, and 
Lobsters) Act, Mr. Chris- 
topher Sykes and the 257, 446 
Fitzmaurice, Lord E. G. P., 

reference 368 

Fitzwilliam, G. W., 4th Earl 338 

Fitz-wygram, Lieut. -Gen. Sir F. 

W. J. , his retired pay 162 

Five members, the 511 

Flavin, M. J., Carrying Mr. 

Flavin out 481, 482 

Fleecing the Chosen of the Flock 456 

The Bishop's Bill 456 



INDEX 



559 



Fleecing the Chosen of the flock ; ( Cojii. ) : 
Approaching the Dea?i and 

Chapter 458 

Fletcher, Sir Henry, an early 

member of the House 462 

Foljambe, Mr. 58 

Folkestone, Lord. See Radnor, 
Earl of 

Food and Drugs Bill, reference 307 

Forbes, J. S. , reference 454 

Foreign difficulties in spelling 

English names 12 

Forgotten Sentries 90 

Forster : 

Arnold, his appointment as 

Secretary to the Admiralty 413 

Sir Charles 149 

Rt. Hon. W. E. : 

his remark concerning Mr. 

Arch 63 

References 61, 62, 287, 504-506 

Forwood, Sir W. 227 

Fourth Party, The 411 

Fowle, William, solicitor to 
Barons of the Cinque Ports, 
references 467, 472 

Fowler : 

Miss Ellen Thorneycroft, 

quoted 196 

Rt. Hon. Sir Henry : 

his career 119 

Sir Henry Fowler's Charge 252, 253 
Fox, Charles James : 

sketch from an old portrait 241 

References 238, 253, 254, 

394. 463 
French House of Commons, 

the 386 

From Behind the Speaker s 

Chair, story from 309 

From the Cross Benches, the 

King's appreciation of 446, 447 
Reference 218 

Gardner, Herbert C. , afterwards 

Lord Burghclere 302 

Garter ; 

King at Arms, references ...68, 70 
Knights of the 146 

Gaskell, C. G. Milnes, reference 58 

Gedge, Sydney : 

his plan 32 

in possession of Cap' en Tovvny 

Bowles' Pitch 303 

Toujovrs Gedge 304 

his views on the question of 

the Lord Chancellor 335 

George : 

I., King, references 47, 233 



George : ( Cont. ) : 
HI., King: 

The Lord Chancellor as 

George III. 527 

References 24, 393, 394, 409, 462 
IV., King: 

present as Prince of Wales 
at the trial of Warren 

Hastings 70 

Barons of the Cinque Ports 

at his coronation 467 

The Bold Barons ajid the 

Canopy 470, 471 

Reference ... ..522 

Giffard, Sir Hardinge. See 

Halsbur}-, Lord 
Gilbert, W. S. , references 78, 426 

Gil Bias, its difficulty in spelling 

English names 12 

Gladstone : 

Rt. Hon. Herbert : 

the Cromwell Statue 359, 360 

opposed to the removal of 
the grille in Ladies' 

Gallery 529 

References ...28, 59 

Rt. Hon. W. E. : 

incident of his trip on the 

Tan ta lion Castle 12 

public interest in 29 

the yellow window blind 49 

last years in the Commons 52 

antagonistic demonstrations 

in the House 53 

He steadfastly regarded the 

yelling Mob 54 

Dexterouslv balancing the 

Hat ' ■ 55 

With courteous Gesture 56 

an Eton dinner 57 

A grand old Eton Boy 59 

his hat 80 

in Peel's parliament 94 

his maiden speech 98, 236 

Nolo Coronari 146 

his memoirs 147 

Sir G. O. Morgan's port- 
manteau 153 

influence of Home Rule 
question on the Liberal 
party 181-193 
retirement from, the Premier- 
ship 194 

A glowing Gla?tce 195 

Walking out for the last 

time 207 

He took a great interest in 

Punch 208 

An attractive Listener 209 



56o 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



Gladstone : [Conf.) : 

Rt. Hon. W. E. (CoHi.): 

his appreciation of Artists 210 

gives advice to John Bright 211 

.1 little friendly Advice 212 

What ! not remember it ? 213 

not indifferent to news- 
papers 214 

political situation paralleled 
in Walpole's second ad- 
ministration 215 

attitude of the Daily News 216 

Writing a post card 217 

facsimile of one of his post- 
cards 219 

his holiday task 220 

At a four-mile-an-hour pace 233 

doctoring a /aZ/K 234 

impresses the House in 1833 236 

An early appea7-ance in the 

Parliamentary ring 237 

his oratorical gestures 320 

his reception of the news of 
the defeat of the Rosebery 

Government 356 

would have voted for the 

Cromwell statue 360 

an early portrait and a fore- 
caste 370 

his eyes, A Flashing Eye 382 

Mr. Lecky struck by a 

Phenomenon 383 

his five hours' speech 393 

a supporter of the Channel 

Tunnel scheme 452 

speeches mostly extem- 
poraneous 476 

added to the Statutes The 
Crown Private Estates 

Act 479 

Harcourt's advice to his 

biographer 485 

his plan for adding a third 
Secretary to the Treasury 

staff 499 

effect of his absence in the 
early stage of the Brad- 
laugh difficulty 501 

References 7, 8, 39-41, 46, 60, 

61. 74. 75. 83. 100, 112, 131, 1.15- 
117, 119-124, 133, 145, 149, 151, 
152, 154, 166, 167, 196, 201, 218, 
225, 228, 231, 232, 238, 248, 250, 
251, 260-262, 277-279, 284, 290, 
298, 301, 312, 317, 318, 325, 328, 
334-338. 348, 359. 370, 371. 373. 
376, 385. 389. 390. 406, 408, 409, 
421, 424, 444, 450, 451-454, 474, 
492, 516, 528, 531, 544, 547 



Gladstone: [Cont.): 

Mrs., her care and watchful- 
ness 233 

Glenesk, Algernon Borthwick, 
Lord, the early days of the 

Primrose League 385 

Globe, the, its splendid adver- 
tisement 539 

Goethe, J. W., reference 382 

Goldsworthy, Maj. -Gen. W. T. , 

his pension 162 

Gordon : 

Lady Duft, Doyle sends her 
a portrait of Sir Robert 

Peel 5 

Lord George, Riots, reference 87 

Gore, Canon. See Birmingham, 

Bishop of 
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E. : 

Automatic Gestures — H. 322 

/ want to make your flesh creep 380 

The Lay of ifie Last V.-P. 38 1 

References 132, 382, 384, 450 

Gortchakoff, Prince, reference 505 

Goschen, Rt. Hon. G. J., Lord : 

motion to reduce his salary 33 

Tlie Unexpected Footprint 128, 129 
his literary work 169 

his views on public audiences 175, 176 
The Whigs take Fright 181, 182 

oratorical gestures 321 

References 132, 166, 342, 

450, 528 

Gosset, F. R. , reference 493 

Gourley, Colonel Sir E. , member 

in 1868 155, 156 

Graham, Sir James R. G. , Bart., 
Home Secretary, 1841-6, 
references ...6, 94 

Grant, James, quoted 371 

Granville, Granville Geo., 2nd 
Earl: 

present at the Punch dinner 209 

rallied by Gladstone on his 

memory 213 

Warden of the Cinque Ports 328-330 
his difficulty with Lord 

Beaconsfield 459 

References 49, 93, 250, 463 

Gravelot, Hubert, French artist 
(1699-1773), his picture of 
the House in the National 

Portrait Gallery 91 

Great Seal, the. The real Great 

Seal 486 

Greene : 

H. D. , member for Shrews- 
bury, reference 461 

Edward, member in 1874 461 



INDEX 



561 



Gregory, Rt. Hon. William, 
Under Secretary for Ireland 

(1813-35), his LeUcr Box 283 

Grenville, W. W. Lord, Foreign 
Secretary, 1789- 1801, 

Speaker, his salary 464 

Grey : 

Sir Edward, Bart. : 

his qualities 121 

an angler 122 

Reference 129 

Charles, Lord Howick, 2nd 
Earl: 
his manner of addressing 

the Queen 420 

References 99, 121, 280 

Grey's Debates, reference 255 

Grosvenor, Lord Richard. See 

Stalbridge, Lord 
Grote, George, the historian, an 

early member 94 

Gully : 

John, sometime prizefighter, 
member for Pontefract , 

1832-37 94 

Rt. Hon. W. C. : 
Speaker, his repression of 

ambiguous questions 288 

when elected, a dark horse 326 

Sub-editing questions. The 
Speaker riding on the 

Whirlwind 378 

his pronunciation of Dalziel 406 

The Mace accompanying the 

Speaker 420 

Mr. Speaker takes the oath 537 

References 141, 200, 514, 515 

See also Speaker 

Mrs., reference 201 

Gunpowder Plot : 

The search for Guy Fawkes, 
A Beefeater, temp. Henry 

VIII. 222 

Reference 24 

Gurney, Sir Richard, Lord 
Mayor of London 1642, 

assaulted by citizen's wives 513 

Guy Fawkes : 

the search for 222-224 

Reference 89 

Gwynne, Nell : 

a topic in Mostyn's seventeenth 

century News-Letters 392 

extracts relating to, from 
Newidgate's M.S. News- 
Letters 495 



Haines, H., his old time History 
of Prime Mi7iisters 



•35 



Hair-curled Oratory 33 

Haldane, Rt. Hon. R. B., The 
calm and philosophical 
sketch by the late Sir Frank 

Lockwood 139 

Halsbury, Hardinge Stanley, 
Giffard, ist Earl ; Lord 
Chancellor : 
a Cabinet of tw o. Cold, 

isn't it, .'Irthurf ...50,51 

his career 142 

defence of Governor Eyre, Is 

ih is J list ice f 143 

a dilemma, 'The lost Writ 144 

his graceful performances 157 

Popping on and off the Wool- 
sack 1 58 

at Prayer time loi 

The Lord Chancellor quietly 

drops in 203 

Catching a Big Fish on the top 

of a Tree 306 

presides at a tea-table on the 

Terrace 362 

The Lord Chancellor ivielding 

the Tea -pot 363 

The Order of Precedence 425 

The real Great Seal 486 

a catastrophe averted, The 

Lord Chancellor has a 

Narruv} Escape 51 5i 516 

his fancy dress costume. The 

Lord Chancellor as George 

III- 527 

References 204, 240, 270, 335, 
341. 352, 432, 460 
Halsey, Rt. Hon. T. F. , mem- 
ber in 1874 156 

Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord 
George, Secretary of State 
for India : 

his oratorical gestures 322 

References 156, 497, 498 

Hampden, H. R. Brand, ist 
Viscount : Speaker : 

receives a mysterious bo.\- 177 

at one time chief Liberal 

Whip 326 

References 269, 325, 460, 544 

Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W. : 

A Keen Scent for Jobs 246 

the salary of the Serjeant-at- 
Arms 341 

Takes the Business in harid 343. 344 

one of the A'fl/o'if/'i' 412 

References 335, 413, 415 

Hansard : 

quoted 237, 254 

References 255, 515 

2 O 



562 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



Harcourt family : 

Archives of the 525 

Sir Simon, Lord Keeper to 

Queen Anne 525-527 

Simpkin, son of the foregoing 525, 526 
Simon, member of the House 
in the early days of the 

century 463 

Rt. Hon. Sir William Vernon : 
member of the South Africa 

Committee 69, 70 

En ter the Committee 71 

political career 1 1 1 

A Toivering Impatience, 

One of the Kindest of Men 112 

A Way of Sitting upon 

People 113 

a voluminous note-taker 277 

Sir W. Harcourt' s Notes 473 

his retirement, In the Corner 301 

Automatic Gestitres — 1 321 

his brother 416 

his advice to John Morley 
respecting Gladstone's 

Biography 485 

goes as his ancestor to the 
Duchess of Devonshire's 
Ball, Lord Keeper in the 

Time of Queen Anne 527 

refusal of honours. Nolo 

Coronetan 530, 531 

References 38, 86, 105, 115, 

116, 118- 120, 156, 251, 312, 

429, 444, 474, 475, 487, 488, 

526, 548 

Colonel E. W. , reference ...416 

Hardie, J. Keir : 

appears in the House, Enter 

Mr. Keir Hardie 284 

unfulfilled expectations. Exit 

Mr. Keir Hardie 285 

Hardwicke : 

Lady, wife of the Lord Chan- 
cellor, her collection of 

purses 487 

6th Earl, his connection with 

stockbroking 415 

Harewood, ist Earl of, reference 463 

Harley, Edward, afterwards 2nd 

Earl of Oxford, reference 525 

Harmsworth, Leicester, refer- 
ence 406 

Harrington, T. C. 519 

Harris, Lord, reference 157 

Hartington, Lord. See Devon- 
shire, Duke of 
Hastings, Warren, trial of, 
parallelisms in the trials of 
Rhodes and Parnell 67-74 



Hats and Heads 79 

Hatsell, John, jurist, quoted 254 

Hatton, Sir Christopher, Lord 
Chancellor to Queen Eliza- 
beth, reference 231 

Havelock- Allan, Sir Henry, his 

pay and pension 162 

Hay, Sir John, his story about 

ladies in the House 255, 256 

Hay ter : 

Sir Arthur 58 

Sir George, his view of the 

House in 1833 94 

Hayward, Abraham, Q.C. , re- 
ference 340 

Healy : 

Maurice, reference 417 

Timothy, An nncomfo7-table 

posit io7i 76 

References 40, 41, 417, 534 

Hemphill, Rt. Hon. C. H., Ser- 

jeant-at-Law, his pension 163 

Hendren, Bishop 6 

Henley, A. H. , 3rd Lord, some- 
time member for North- 
ampton, references 255, 256 
Henrietta Maria, Queen, her 

love-letters 364, 365 

Henry : 

HL, King, reference 467 

IV. of France, King, a 
mission to. Lord Salisbury 
and Henry IV. of France 401, 402 
Herbert, John Rogers, R.A. , 

references 43, 44 

Heritable Usher of Scotland, his 

salary 245-247 

Hermon, Hodge, Sir R. T. , 

Bart. , his military appearance 164 

Herschell, Farrer : ist Lord : 

his hat 56 

his maiden speech 265 

in the Lords, Lord Herschell 

as Lord Chancellor 266 

a " Passover " 267 

References 188, 204, 301 

Hibbert, Rt. Hon. Sir John T., 
sometime Financial Sec. to 

the Treasury 302 

Hickel, Karl Anton, his painting 
in the National Portrait 

Gallery 92 

Hicks-Beach : 

Rt. Hon. Sir Michael : 

an Old Boy 104, 105 

Upright and stiff-backed 129 

his rapid advancement 415 

References 133, 156, 197 

Michael, temp. George HI. 462 



INDEX 



563 



Hill, Rt. Hon. A. Staveley : 

his emoluments 163 

Reference 156 

Hippias of Elis, reference 51 

Hippocrates, reference 51 

History repeating itself 339 

History of our own Times on 

Gladstone's maiden speech 236 

Hoare, Sir Samuel, Bart 449 

Hobhouse : 

Benjamin, member temp. 

George HI. 462 

Sir John Cam, afterwards 

Lord Broughton 94 

Arthur, 1st Lord 204 

Hogan, J. F. , takes up the 

Colonial grievance 157 

Holden, Sir Isaac, Bart. : 

his career 122 

no talker but a walker 123 

diet 124 

his death 125 

Home Rule Bill, references 52, 53, 123, 
181-192, 195, 214, 251, 276 
Homer, references 210, 220 

Hope, Anthony, his candida- 
ture 402, 403 
Horner, F. W. , the Ladies 

Gallery question 528 

Horsley, Mr., Inspector: 

Brawler, Beware f Sketch by 

the late Sir F. Lockwood 138 

portrait 224 

Horsley, J. C. , R.A., references ...43, 44 

Horsman, George, reference 227 

House of Commons : 

air and ventilation 296 

Terrace 176, 360-363, 413, 414, 541 

House of Lords, amenities in 516 

Household Franchise Bill, refer- 
ence 63 

Howarth, Sir Henry H., refer- 
ence 501 

Howe, R. G. Penn Curzon, 4th 

Earl, reference 340 

Howick, Lord. See Grey, 2nd 

Earl. 
Howley, William, Archbishop of 
Canterbury, his early morn- 
ing visit to the Queen ...Bi, 82 
Hunsdon, Lord, temp. Charles 

II. 495 

Hurst, R. H. , member for Hors- 
ham, 1837 338 

Iddesleigh, Stafford Northcote, 

ist Earl 118, 119, 130, 197, 

334. 450, 504. 505 
Illingworth, A., reference 450 



Indian Cotton Duties 119, 251 

Ingram -Winnington, Bishop of 
London, The Bishop's Bill, 
Dear me ! London's a dread- 

fully expensive place 456 

Irish Church Disestablishment 
Bill: 

its birthplace 154 

References 98, 151, 154, 278, 283 
Irish : 

Land Bill, the first 151, 283 

Local Government Bill 259 

University Bill 228 

Ironclad, a private. No thanks, 
I don't want any Ironclads 
to-day 205 



487 
477 



•59 



Jackson, W. L. See Allerton, 

I St Lord 
James I., King, references 508-510, 
James II., King : 

his great seal cast into the 

Thames 

References 392, 

James of Hereford, Lord : 

Sir Henry James going up to 

the Lords 

Sir Henry James and the 

Cotton Ditties Tribesmen 251, 252 

unique position 544 

The I 'ision of the 1 1 'oolsack 545 

References, 112, 119, 182, 183, 204 

Jameson, Dr., reference 68 

Jeffrey, Francis, Lord, Editor of 
the Edinburgh Review, 
1803-29, an early member 

of the House 

Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. A. F., Mr. 
Jeffreys the New Deputy 

Speaker 

Jekyll, Joseph, member for Calne, 
1787-1816 

Jenkinson, F. B. , C. B. 

Jennings, Louis 

Jingo fever, the 

Johnson, Dr. Samuel, often sat 
in Reporter's Gallery, Watch- 
ing Pa rlia ment 

Johnston, W. , of Ballykilbeg : 

Mr Johnston in Prison 

Beating the Orange Drum 

A Tender-hearted Fanatic 

Inspector of Fisheries .. .. 

revolutionary speech, dismissal 
and death 534 

Johnstone, Captain, commonly 
called Governor Johnstone, 
his objection to ladies in the 
House 254, 255 



■94 



.498 

..17 
•537 
■ 340 
••53 



.242 

.259 
.260 

• 532 

•533 

535 



564 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



Jones : 
Atherley : 

Reference 430 

William : 

Career, A Welsh Orator 370 

Reference 430 

Journal des Dibats, reference 220 

Journals of the House, the 536 

Julien, Monsieur, his hat 80 

Kearsley, Mr. , member for 

Wigan, 1836 523, 524 
A Fajicy Portrait 523 

Kendal, Mrs. , obtained for Lock- 
wood his first brief 135 

Kenealj', Dr. : 

an undoubted power in 1875 283 

his famous ^z<// 284 

Reference 37 

Kennaway, Sir John, sketch 

portrait 156 

Kensington, Lord 58 

Kent, Duchess of, reference 81 

Kenyon-Slaney, Colonel, his re- 
tired pay 163 

Kilbride, Denis, his new dinner 

dish 307 

Kilmainham Treaty, the 505 

Kimber, Sir Henry, Bart. , his 
complaint concerning the 
sub-editing of questions 377 

Kimberley, ist Earl : 

Leader of the House of Lords 57 

References 119,146 

King, the, and Parliament 418, 476 

King's Speech, the 522 

Kinglake, A. W. , historian and 

author, Eoihen quoted 308 

Kingston, Lord, temp. Charles 

IL, reference 495 

Kitchener, Lord, references 407, 507 

Knatchbull, Sir Ldward, in early 
days of the century a member 
of the House 462 

Knatchbull- Hugessen. Edward 
Sei Brabourne, Lord 

Knightley, Sir Rainald, reference 149 

Kruger, President : 

strained affection, I Villic Red- 
mond hugs Mr. Knigcr 488, 489 
References 163, 426 

Labouchere, Henry : 

the Home Rule difificulty, Mr. 
Henyy Labonchere as the 
Messenger of the Gods 184-187 

The Friendly Broker 191 

A Cave-Ma?i 225 

an entertaining journalist 404 



Labouchere, Henry: (Cont.) : 

the new party, A Sia-oival 429 

member of the Civil List Com- 
mittee 449 

Sitting on the Civil List 450 

References 59, 303, 304 

404, 411, 430, 451 
See Taunton, Lord 
Ladies Gallery : 

not in the old House of 

Commons 242 

Ladies in the House 253, 254 

refuse to be excluded 255 

the removal of the grille 528, 529 

References 20, 102 

Lamb, Charles, reference 272 

Lansdowne, Henry, C. K. , 5th 
Marquis of : 
salary compared with Lord 

Grenville's 464 

References 146, 435 

ist Marquis of, reference 463 

Lascelles, Henry, son of, ist Earl 

Harewood, reference 463 

Laurence, French, member for 

Peterborough, 1796 17 

Laurie, General, his retired pay 163 

Lawson : 

H arrv , reference 58 

Sir Wilfrid : 

his device for a Scottish 

coin 16 

story from Westmorland 355 

epigram on the political 

situation 504 

References 48, 257, 350, 408 

Lawyers in the House 389 

Layard, Austin Henry, references 8, 504 
Leader, Mr. , his support of 

Coroner Wakley 338 

Lecky, W. E. H. : 

.Mr. Lecky' s Maiden Effort 26 

oratorical gestures 321, 322 

on G\a.d.s\.one sjlashi7ig eye 382 

.Mr. Lecky struck by a Pheno- 
menon 383 

Lee, Sidney, on the custom of 
the Speaker's prorogation 

speech 514 

Lees, Sir Elliot, P.nrt. , his 

captain's pay 164 

Legh, Hon. T. W. 164 

Le Grand, Monsieur 402 

Leighton, Sir Baldwin, as Chair- 
man of Quarter Sessions 143, 144 
Leng, Sir John, his way of 

putting questions 405 

Lennox, Lord Henry, effects of 

his directorship 461 



INDEX 



565 



Letters from Camp during the 
Siege of Sebasfopol, by Col. 

Campbell, preface quoted 339 

Leveson-Gower, G. G. ; 

References 58, 302 
George, afterwards Earl Gran- 
ville, member in 1836 463 

Lewes, G. H., his Life of Goethe, 

reference 382 

Lewis, Sir George Cornewall, 
his reasons for supporting a 
vote for the Princess Royal's 

dowry 479 

License in the Lords 157 

Lie Direct, The 519 

Li Hung Chang, his visit to the 

Commons 158 

Literary men in Parliament 26, 403 

Littleton, Sir Thomas, a member 

of 1675 255 

Liverpool, Robert Banks Jenkin- 

son, 2nd Earl, reference 395 

Liverpool Courier, The, refer- 
ence 406 

Liverpool Daily Post, The, refer- 
ence 214 

Llandaff, Henry Matthews, ist 
Viscount, his conclusions in 

the Maybrick case 390 

Lloyd-George, D. 411,430 

Lockwood : 
Sir Frank : 

his resemblance to an old 
time member, Very like 
Sir Frank Lock-ioood . . .93, 94 
his career 134-141 

sketches by 136-139, 140 

anecdotes of 542, 543 

Reference 151 

Colonel Mark 361 

Loder, G. W. E. , reference 28 

Logan, J. W. , reference 298 

London : 

Government Bill, reference 277 

house, an old 233 

London Chronicle oi 177S, quoted 253 

Londonderry, Charles Stewart, 
6th Marquis of : 
Lord Londonderry (the new 

Postmaster-General) 374 

Reference 373 

Long, Charles : 

an old time member 462 

Rt. Hon. W. H. : 

his pay as Colonel of the 

Royal Wilts Yeomanry 164 

Reference 498 

Lord Advocate. See Murray, 
Graham 



Lord Chamberlain in 1837 
(Francis N., 2nd Marquis 
Cony ngham ) ...81,82 
Lord Chancellor. 5^e Brougham, 
Halsbury, Herschell, and 
Selborne 
Lord Chancellor, temp. James L 
(Sir Thomas Egerton, after- 
wards Lord Ellesmere) 510 

Lord Chief Justice. 5£e Coleridge, 

Lord 
Lord Great Chamberlain, refer- 
ence 223 

Lord Privy Seal 423 

See Balfour, Cross, Salisbury, 
Tweedmouth 

Lord Steward 447 

Lords, the, at Prayer 203 

and Commons 410, 433 

/n the Lion's Den 411 

Lome, Marquis of. See Argyll, 

9th Duke 
Lough, T. : 

the disadvantages of a figure 

of speech 489 

portrait 490 

Louloii, a. Queen Anne 525, 526 

Louis Philippe, King : 

his hat 80 

Reference 387 

Louise, H.R.H. Princess, Duchess 
of Argyll, the grant on her 

marriage 447 

Love-letters of a King and 
Queen, Charles /. and 
Henrietta Maria 364, 365 

Lowther : 

Sir James, Pitt nominated by 385 

Rt. Hon. J. : 

an old Parliamentary hand. 

Who knew not Jemmy 226 

his loyalt)' to Ministers 227 

Peers and elections anomaly 

ALental and Physical Youth ... .281 
Catching a Big Fish on the 

Top of a Tree 306 

Rt. Hon. J. W. : 

The Chairtnaii of Ways and 

Afea7is 345 

Reference 498 

John H., an early nineteenth- 
century member 462 

Lubbock : 

Sir John. 6'te Avebury, Lord 
John, member of the House, 

temp. George HI. 462 

Lucy, Henry : 

letters of Sir Frank Lockwood 

sent to 138, 139 



566 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



Lucy, Henry: [Cont.]: 

Daybreak on lVe$tiiii?isfer 

Bridge 1 60 

letters of Mr. Gladstone sent 

to 208, 214, 216, 220 
A Hasty Bath .... 297 
A Precious Little Fat Book 394 

Lydias, reference 274 

Lytton, Bulwer, 1st Lord : 

Ne7i} Timon, quoted 108 

reference 403 



Mabon. ,St'« Abraham , W. 
Macartney, W. E. , Secretary to 

the Admiralty, June 1895 413 

Macaulay, Lord : 

on the House of Commons, 

quoted 17 

on the trial of Warren Hast- 
ings 67, 70, 74 

his hat 80 

member in 1833 94 

on Robert Walpole, quoted 215 

Reference 340 

McCalmont, General, his half- 
pay 163 

M'Carthy, Justin : 

quoted 98 

statement relating to first 
speecli corrected by Glad- 
stone 236 

Cromwell statue opposed by 359 

literary gifts not, apparently, 
conducive to Parliamentary 

success 404 

References 230, 237 

Macdona, J. : 

accident while exercising his 

rectorial functions 205 

a member of the Pigtail Party 336 

Mace, the : 

mysterious disappearance of 
the first, temp. Charles \. ; 

Cromwell's bauble 270 

the one now in use 271 

one presented to Jamaica by 

Charles H. 271 

never carried into the presence 

of the sovereign 419 

Reference 515 

M'lver, David, reference 37 

Mclver, Sir Lewis, a quiet but 
effective opponent of the 

Home Rule Bill 187 

McKenna, R., references 411, 429, 430 
Mackintosh, Sir James, member 
for Nairn, 18 13, philosopher 
and historian 17 



Maclagan, Dr., Archbishop of 
York: 
The Order of Precedence 424, 425 
He was snappish to the Arch- 
bishop of York 432 

Reference 434 

Maclise, Daniel, R.A. , reference 43 

Macnaghten, Edward, Lord, 

Lord of Appeal, reference 204 

MacNeill, J. G. Swift : 

on Public Nuisances 104 

Have you seen Mr. Ward'/ 164, 165 
his reception of the news from 
South Africa, The Joy of 
Swift MacNeill 507, 508 

Maden, J. H., reference 430 

Magee, Dr., Bishop of Peter- 
borough, on Episcopal life 
in Parliament, quoted ...29,31 

Maguire : 

T. F. , reference 278 

Rochfort : 

Reference 8 

portrait 9 

Malmesbury, J. H. Harris, 3rd 
Earl of, Foreign Secretary, 
1852, his anecdote of Lord 
Panmure 315, 316 
Ma7ichester Guardian, The, refer- 
ence 406 

Manners, Robert, member letup. 

George HI. 462 

Manners-Sutton : 

Charles (afterwards Viscount 
Canterbury), Speaker, 1817- 

1834 514 

Thomas, early nineteenth- 
century member 462 

Marjoribanks, Mr. See Tweed- 
mouth, Lord 

Marlborough : 

George Charles, 8th Duke of, 
the Queen and the disposal 

of his pictures 439 

Duchess of, wife of the 6th 

Duke, reference 85 

Martin, John, reference 37 

Marvell, Andrew, quoted 476 

Mary, Queen, references j-j, 367 

Master of the Horse. See Port- 
land, Duke of, and O.xen- 
bridge. Lord 

Matthew, Lord Justice, his witty 

saying 267 

Matthews, Rt. Hon. Henry. See 
LlandafI", Lord 

Maxwell, Rt. Hon. Sir II. E., 

Bart., reference 172 

May, Sir Erskine, references 8, 144, 145 



INDEX 



567 



Maybrick, Mrs., Lord Russell's 
defence ; conclusions of 
Lord Llandaff and Sir 
Matthew W. Ridley 390, 391 

Mayo, 6th Earl : 

the opposition to his appoint- 
ment as Governor-General 

of India 278 

his doubts as to his being 
recalled, and assassina- 
tion 279 

Mayor, Lord, of London, temp. 
Charles \. See Gurney, Sir 
Richard 
Mazzini, Guiseppe, 1830-62, 
Stanfeld's intimacy with, 
Tke late Air. Stanfeld and 

Mazzifii 460 

Mehemet Pasha, reference 308 

Melbourne, Lord (1779- 1848) : 
portrait. Two Prime Min- 
isters 86 

References 214, 249, 311 

Mellish, Miss, her bequest to 

Mr. Villiers 263 

Melmoth the Wanderer, romance 

mentioned by Thackeray 382 

Memorial brasses in Westminster 

Hall 409 

Merchant Shipping Bill and Mr. 
PlimsoU, Mr. PliinsoU's 
Outburst 198, 199 

Methuen : 

Paul, grandfather to Lord 
Methuen, member for Wilt- 
shire, demands an apology 

and retraction 524 

Paul S. , 3rd Lord : 

reception of the news of his 

defeat 506-508 

his grandfather 524 

Reference 407 

Mill, John Stuart, reference 403 

Millais, Sir J. E. , his portrait of 

Mr. Gladstone 210 

Milton, John, reference 28 

Mirror of Parliament, 1845 : 

quoted 173 

Reference 237 

Mistress of the Robes (Duchess 

of Buccleuch ) , reference 447 

Monkswell, Robert, 2nd Lord, 

reference 58 

Monmouth, Duke of, his arrest 
a topic in the Mostyn News- 

Letters 392 

Montagu : 

the house of, old and new 

style 508 



Montagu : (Cont.) : 

Sir Edward, Knight, member 
for Huntingdon, afterwards 
Baron Montagu and ist 
Earl of Sandwich : 
his diary 508-510 
receives an account of the 
arrest of the five mem- 
bers 511 

of Beaulieu, Henry John 
Douglas-Scott, ist Lord, his 
service to the State by pre- 
serving the Abbey and 

archives 509 

Montaigne, Michel Eyquem de, 

reference 365 

Morgan : 

F. C. , reference 156 

Sir G. Osborne : 

his career 151 

The late Sir G. O. Morgan 152 

outrage on his portmanteau, 

The New Portman teau 153 

Moritz, Carl Philipp, German 
scholar and dramatist, 1757- 

1793 ■■ 
his notes on the House of 

Commons, 1782 238-242 

Reference 253 

Morley : 

Rt. Hon. Arnold, principal 
Whip to G. L. Party, 1886- 
1892 269, 301 

Rt. Hon. John : 

his Life of Gladsto7ie 147, 485 

his future renown 404 

member of the Civil List 

Committee, 1889 450 

References 7, 229, 301, 451 
Morning Chronicle, Tlie, refer- 
ence 327 

Morris, Michael, ist Lord, a 
Lord of Appeal : 

his undelivered speech 30 

sentence on Mr. Johnston 260 

Mortimer, Earl of March, refer- 
ence 35 

Mostyn, L. N. V. Lloyd-, 3rd 
Lord, his collection of 
London Letters 391 > 392 

Moving the Speaker into the 

Chair 200 

Mowatt, Sir Francis, K.C. B. , 

reference 342 

Mowbray, Rt. Hon. Sir John : 
The father of the House, his 

career 148, 149 
his unique experience of coro- 
nations, Young Mowbray 174 



568 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



Mowbray, Right Hon. Sir John : [Co/it.) : 
Chairman of Committee of 

Selection 282 

his death 293, 295 

his good quahties and 
amiabihty, Bo)-n just befo7-e 

Waterloo 294 

his enjoyment of Gladstone's 

five hours' speech 393 

References 155, 306 

Mr. Gregory s Letter-Box, 1813- 

1835, reference 283 

Mullet, Mr., butler to Sir E. 

Watkin, "turns on Jupiter" 454 

Mundella, Rt. Hon. A. J. , refer- 
ence 301 

Murnaghan, George, discovers 

a new word 34 

Murray : 

Colonel Wyndhani, his emolu- 
ments 163 

Rt. Hon. A. G. , Lord- 
Advocate, 1896-1903 : 
scores off Mr. Caldwell 103, 104 

Reference 434 

Musical -box, the irrepressible, 

anecdote by Lord Onslow 482 



Naples, e.K-King of, reference 283 

Napoleon : 

L, references 16, 331, 353 

HI., reference 364 

Nasmyth hammer, the, and a 
new hat : 

Crushed Again 96 

Reference 484 

National Portrait Gallery, the, 
pictures of the House in 
1742 and 1793 at •■•9I-93 
Negro Emancipation Bill, refer- 
ence 237 

Neilson, Mr., of the Times, as- 
sists Disraeli in preparing 

his speeches 475 

New Oxford Dictionary, the, 

reference 103 

New peer, his predicament. 
What on Earth is my 

Namef 273 

Neiv Timon, by Lord Lytton, 

quoted 108 

■ Newcastle Chronicle, The, under 

Cowen's proprietorship 349 

Newcastle : 

3rd Duke of, and Pitt, a 

Cabinet Council of two 50 

Henry Pelham, 4th Duke of, 

befriends Gladstone 385 



Newcastle : {Cont.) : 

Henry Pelham, 5th Duke of, 
criticised as a member of 
the Cabinet responsible for 

the Crimean War 339 

his remark to Abraham 

Hayward thereon 340 

Newdegate, C. N. : 

his funereal voice and solemn 

manner 37 

an old Tory 492 

once mistaken for Parnell 493 

his opinion of Mr. Whalley, 
Mr. Whalley as imagined 

by Mr. Nexvdegate 494 

Reference 6 

Newdigate : 

Sir Richard, temp. 1675, M.S. 

News-Letters written to 494, 495 
Mr. Serjeant, member for 

Tam worth, 1660 494 

Newman, Cardinal, reference 147 

Newnes, Sir George, Bart., 

portrait 406 

Newspapers in the House : 
the Speakers ruling as to ques- 
tions founded upon reports in . ...85 
Mr. Gladstone, unlike Mr. 
Balfour, not indifferent to 

newspapers 214 

Nicholson, A.W. , reference 537 

Nightingale, Miss Florence, 

reference 439 

Norman, Henry, The Real Japan 403 

North, Frederick, Lord, Premier 

1770-82, reference 385 

Northampton, W. Douglas- 
Maclean Compton, 5th 

Marquis of 59 

Northbrook, Thomas G. Baring, 

I St Earl, reference 94 

Northcote, Sir Stafford. See 

Iddesleigh 
Norton : 

Captain, reference 430 

Hon. Mrs. Caroline, her story 

relating to Lord Panmure 315, 316 

Lady, 1778, reference 254 

Nottingham, Charles, ist Earl 
of. Lord High Admiral, 
officiated as Lord High 
Steward at the coronation 
of James I., reference 509 

Gates, Titus, reference 392 

O'Brien : 

J. Francis Xavier : 

The Four Quarters of Mr. 
\ J. F. X. O'Brien 65 



INDEX 



569 



O' Brien : ( Cont. ) : 

J. Francis Xavier : [Conl.) : 
a respected member of the 

Irish Party 66 

W. , references 64, 177 

Obse}~ver, The : 

article relating to Gladstone's 
onslaught upon Chamber- 
lain, 1892, reference 218 

article describing Mr. Chris- 
topher Syke's adventures, 
1884 446, 447 

O'Clery, the Chevalier, reference 37 

O'Connell, Daniel : 

Trying on O' Conncll's Hat 79 

in Peel's Parliament 95 

described in New Timon 108 

References 56, 376 

O'Connor : 

Arthur, his retired pay and 

pension 163 

T. P., effects of journalism on 

his Parliamentary career 404 

Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, reference 35 

O'Donnell, Frank H. : 

The O'Donnell Tenv) 289, 290 I 

References 37, 39, 40 

O'Gorman, Major : 

his memorablespeech, portrait 493 

Reference 37 

Old Age Pension Committee, 

reference 313 

Old days in the Commons 213 

Old diplomacy, the 402 

Old Sarum : 

notes from a prehistoric Dod 395 

Reference 76 

Old style member, an 76 

O'Leary, Dr., reference 37 

O'Mara, James, his hull 488 

Onslow : 

William H. , 4th Earl of : 

his unique position 378, 379 

his story of the musical box 482 

Reference 375 

Sir Richard, Speaker, 1738, 
represented in Gravelot's 
picture in the National Por- 
trait Gallery 91 

Orange, Prince of, afterwards 
William III., referred to in 

the Mostyn Xews-Letters 392 

Orange I-Yee State, reference 435 

Oratorical gestures 320 

Orchardson, W. Q. , R.A. : 
narrow escape of his portrait 

of Lord Peel 199 

" moving the Speaker into the 

Chair" 200 



Orchardson, W. Q., R..-\. : (Con/.): 
an unrecorded sitting in the 

Commons 201 

his portrait reminiscent of the 
Speaker's scathing indigna- 
tion 202, 203 

Reference 107 

Osborne, the. Queen's yacht, 

reference 352 

O'Shea, Captain : 

receives a telegram from 

Chamberlain 185 

Reference 506 

Ossington, Viscount. See Deni- 

son, John E. 
Oxenbridge, Lord : 

Master of the Horse 1892-94 

Reference 301 

Oxford, Edward Harley, 2nd 

Earl, reference 525 

Painting the Map Red 68 

Pairing ' 545 

Palgrave, Sir Reginald, refer- 
ence 409 

Pall Mall Gazette, the, refer- 
ences 216, 220, 406 
Palmer : 

G. W., reference 416 

Sir Charles, reference 156 

W. H. , reference 416 

Palmerston, Lord : 

in Peel's parliament 94 

his bitter retort, Oh, it was 

onlv vou, was it? 3P7< 308 

distributed the relics at 

Walmer Castle 331 

his manner of writing to the 

Queen 420 

his dismissal, The Distnissal 

of Pam. 437 

his views on directorships 460, 461 

Pam as a VVincliester Boy 463 

References 94, 116, 311, 330, 

438. 463. 542 

Panmure, Lord, Mrs. Norton's 

story relating to 315, 316 

Parish Councils Bill, refer- 
ences 119, 194, 251 

Parker : 

Charles, reference 58 

Sir Gilbert, references 402, 403 

Parliamentary : 

Bath, the 285 

caves 225 

reforms 287 

reports 44 1 

Parnell, C. S. : 

his apogee, Mr. Parnell Rises 73 



570 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



Parnell, C. S. : (Couf.) : 

reception after Pigott's suicide 74 

after his fall 75 

the compromise, Storming 

Down to Downing Street 193 

Dr. Playfair refuses to 7za?«f 197 

his offer to retire 220, 221 

a collision averted The Buffer 

State 229, 330 

Irish Obstruction 318 

The Kilmainham Treaty 505, 506 
References 3, 39, 41, 183, 185, 

186, 187, 196, 274, 290, 318, 440, 

465. 493 

Pease, Sir Joseph, reference 156 

Peel : 

Arthur Wellesley, ist Viscount, 
Speaker 1884-95 • 
Sir Robert's formal intro- 
duction to his brother 8 

the Peel portrait 199-201 

Scathing Indignation 202, 203 

hopeful of the discovery of 

Cromwell's mace 271 

his curious discovery of the 
effect of a heated debate 
on the temperature of the 

house 297 

goes on board the Tantallon 
Castle to visit Mr. Glad- 
stone 360 

a non- official dinner at 

which Mabon sings 375 

References 7, 118, 141, 269, 326 
See Speaker. 
Sir Robert, 2nd Baronet : 

his parliament in 1833 94 

his belief in a despotic 

government for Ireland 280 

References 17, 133, 145, 181, 

213, 249, 385, 531 
Sir Robert, 3rd Baronet : 

his maiden speech 5 

Dicky Doyle's sketch por- 
trait 6 

his career, portrait by 

F. C. G. 7 

introduced to his brother, 

the Speaker 8 

his unexpected death 9 

Reference 126 

Peers and Elections 280 

Pendennis, reference 327 

Pensioners in the House of 

Commons 162 

Perceval, Spencer, 1762- 18 12, 

references 394, 409, 463 

Peterborough, Bishop of. See 
Magee, Dr. 



Petty, John Henry, son of the 
Marquis of Landsdowne, 
an early nineteenth-century 

member 463 

Philip HI., King of Spain, 

reference 402 

Pickard, B., reference 430 

Pictures in an Old Parliament 238 

Pigott, Richard, his suicide ...73, 74 

Pigtail Party, the 335, 336 

Pine, John, line engraver 91 

Pif, a character in Great 

Expectatiotis, reference 214 

Pitt : 

William, the elder, after- 
wards Earl of Chatham, a 
cabinet council of two, his 
three hours' speech on the 
Peace of Paris 50, 393, 394 

William, son, 1759- 1806 : 

in Pitt's Parliament .. 92-94 

his room in Walmer Castle 329 

Talleyrand Sleeping in 

Pitt's Bed 330 

his chair 331 

his maiden speech 371 

his salaries 464 

his Chancellor's robe re- 
tained by Disraeli 528 

References 91, 117, 238, 376, 394 

Mrs., reference 50 

Pitt's Parliament 92 

Plato, reference 51 

Playfair, Lyon, Lord, Chairman 
of Committees, 1880-83 • 

portrait 196 

his struggles with Irish members 196 

speech on margarine 198 

Reference 55 

Plimsoll, Samuel, the Merchant 
Shipping Bill : 

Mr. Plimsoll' s outburst 198 

although obliged to apologise 

made his mark .. ... 199 

Reference 37 

Plunket : 

David Robert. See Rathmore, 
Lord 

Hon. Horace, reference 26 

Pope, Alexander, quoted 154 

Pope, the, references, 493, 533 

Portland : 

yd Duke of : 

his salary as Home Secretary 464 
4//i Duke : 

Prime Minister, 1807 394 

Reference 173 

dth Duke : 

Master of the Horse, 1886 447 



INDEX 



571 



Portland : ( Cont. ) : 
6th Duke : {Cont.): 

manuscripts containing re- 
ferences to Harcourt 

family, preserved by 1^25 

Potter, T. B. : 

his good temper and imper- 
turbability 228 

prevents a collision. The Buffer 

State 229, 230 

Power, Richard, reference 274 

Prayer Book, romance of the 366 

Precedence, curiosities of 424 

Prehistoric Dod, a 394 

Premier and Primate 431 

PresS; the 405 

news agencies 441,442 

Press Gallery, the : 

a voice from 45 

Shakespeare up to date 179 

curious incident befalling a 

member of 200 

Dr. Johnson watching Parlia- 
ment from 242 

Lord Russell and Sir E. Clarke 

members of 388, 389 

References 87, 325 

Prime Ministers, a Sliort History 

of, a fearful warning, quoted 35 

Primrose League, the : 

not a public nuisance 104 

The Cult of the Primrose 384 

some of its founders 385 

Prince Consort, H.R.H. the: 
resides at Walmer Castle 

during his honeymoon 329 

his swift journe}' from Dover, 

Cupid as Post-boy 427, 428 

Queen's letter dismissing 

Palmerston dictated by 438 

Reference 478 

Prison experiences of Irish members 64 

Prodicus of Ceos, reference 51 

Protagoras of Plato— an early 

bedside discussion 51 

Protestants and Catholics 376 

Provence, Hugh, Earl of, reference.... 467 

Psychical Society, a story for 396 

Public audiences 175 

Pulpit attraction, a singular 80 

Pumblechook, a character in Grcal 

Expectations, reference 214 

Punch, a Punch dinner : 

He took a great Interest in 

Punch 208, 209 

References 5, 43, 57, 135, 136 

Queen's prayers for Parliament, the.... 398 
Speech 398-400, 410 



Questions : 

subediting and censorship 376 

the plague of 465 

The Irish Secretary and 

Questions 466 

Quisantd, reference 403 

Race to the altar, a 427 

Radnor, Jacob, 6th Earl of 

(Lord Folkestone), reference 407 

Raglan, ist Lord, his death in 

the Crimea, reference 315 

Random Recollections of the Lords 

a7id Commons, quoted 371-373 

Rat-catchers, official, English 

and French 386 

Rathmore, D. R. Plunket, ist 
Lord, Solicitor-General, Ire- 
land, 1875-77 : 
his retort to Sir George Camp- 
bell 14 

his predicament. What on 

Earth is my Name f 272, 273 

Real Japan, by Henry Norman, 

reference 403 

Redmond : 

John E. , references 417, 519 

William, his choice of a bench 40 

A Horrible Discovery 41 

makes himself agreeable, Who 

Killed Parnell f 41 

The Infant Roscius 361 

his tactics in obstruction 465 

Catclies Sight of Mr. Chamber- 
lain 482 

a prolific breeder of bulls, 
Willie Redmond hugs Mr. 
Kruger 488, 489 

In the Bull-Jield 522 

References 75, 417 

Reform Bill, 1832 : 

References 279, 318 

the Act of 1867, reference 422 

Reichsrath, the Austro- Hun- 
garian, a source of comfort 
to English legislators. Carry- 
ing Mr. Flavin Out 481 

Reid, Sir Robert T., Q.C. : 
a favourite subject with Frank 

Lockwood 136 

Reference 274 

Rendel, Stuait, ist Lord, refer- 
ence 58 

Reporters in the House 242 

Renter, Baron, Reference 392 

Rhodes, Cecil : 

his trial 67 

In Westminster Hall 67 

il/r. Rhodes and the Alap ...69,70 



572 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



241 



302 

146 

464 

415 
407 

259 

385 
241 



95. 



305 

,306 
523 



Richmond, 6th Duke of, refer- 
ence 146 

Ridding, Dr., Bishop of South- 
well, successfully objects to 
the daily reading of prayers 

by the j'oungest Bishop 204 

Ridley : 

Sir Matthew White, 2nd 
Baronet, member for New- 
castle, reference 462 

Matthew White, ist Lord, 
Home Secretary, 1895: 
replies to Mr. MacNeil, 
Sir Matthew White- 

Ridley is ftin/iy 104 

his conclusions with regard 

to Mrs. Maybrick 391 

Reference 65 

Rigby : 

Mr., member in 1782 

Sir John, Q.C., Solicitor- 
General, 1894-95, refer- 
ence 

Ripen, G. F. S. Robinson, ist 

Marquis, reference 
Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. T.: 

his salary as Home Secretary 

References 156, 

Roberts, Lord, reference 

Roche, Sir Boyle, reference 

Rockingham, C. W. Wentworth, 

Marquis of, reference 

Rodney, Admiral, reference 

Roebuck, J. A.: 

sometime member for Bath, 
and Sheffield, takes Mr. 

Dillwyn's seat 

crosses over to Conservative 

side 

References 
Rollit, Sir .Albert, gives Frank 

Lockwood his first brief 
Rolls, Master of the, 1793 (Sir 
R. P. Arden, afterwards 
Lord Alvanley 
Romance of the Peerage, a. The 

Lost Eye- Glass 
Ronaync, J. P. , reference 
Rosebery : 

4th Earl of, description in 
Grant's Random Recollec- 
tions, quoted 372, 373 
A. P. Primrose, 5th Earl of : 
speeches founded upon liter- 
ary tastes 27 

aids the project of the Eton 

bust 57 

the Premiership 115-118, 248, 

250-253' 274 



•94 

264 
••37 



Rosebery : {Coiit.) : 

A. P. Primrose, 5th Earl of : (Cout.) : 
A Prisoner in the House of 

Lords n6 

attitude while speaking 322, 325 

Presiding at a Lecture 333 

his reason for the prevailing 

dulness at Westminster 334, 335 
A Cordite Explosion 356, 357 

description of his grand- 
father 372, 373 
attacks the Royal Declara- 
tion Bill, A Belted Earl 
thumping the Table 515-517 
References 146, 225, 301, 
404, 412, 444, 548 
Ross, Janet, her Three Genera- 
tions of Englishwomen 

quoted 5,6 

Rossa, O'Donovan, reference 89 

Rothschild, Baron Ferdinand, 
his amiability and good 
nature. Baron " Ferdy" 243-245 

Round, J., reference 156 

Rowney, Tom, mentioned in the 

Harcourt archives 525, 526 

Rowton, Lord, his custodianship 

of Disraeli's correspondence 147 

Royal Calendar or Annual 
Register for 1801, Dod's 

"Grandfather," reference 461 

Royal Declaration Bill 515, 516 

Russell : 

ist Earl (Lord John Russell) : 

his hat 80 

appears in Hayter's picture, 

1833 94 

his manner of addressing 

the Queen 420 

T/ie Dismissal of Pani 437 

References 116, 249, 523 

General, his half-pny 163 

G. W. E. , Under Sec. India, 

1892-94, reference 302 

Lord Charles, reference 100 

Lord W'illiam, an early nine- 
teenth-century member 463 

Sir Edward H., Editor of The 
Liverpool Daily Post, refer- 
ence 214 
of Killowen, Lord (Sir Charles 
Russell) : 
portrait and career 388-391 
References 73, 302 
Russia, Emperor of (Ale.xander 

in.), reference 350 

Rutland, J. J. R. Manners, 7th 

Duke of, reference 146 

Rylands, Peter, reference 387 



INDEX 



573 



St. Cecilia, Sir J. Tenniel's fresco 

at Westminster ••■43. 44 

St. George and the Dragon, 
device on Coins, IV/iat a 

fearful Creature ! 15 

St. Mary's, Edinburgh, reference 246 

St. Oswald, Rowland Winn, 

2nd Lord, references ...5, 269 

St. Stephen's Club, references 4, 5 

Salisbury : 

Robert Cecil, 3rd Marquis : 
his speeches founded upon 

literary training 27 

T;.i)o Prime Ministers 86 

likeness to Mr. Balfour, 

Substa?icc ami S/tadcnn 108 

his failing health 127 

his successor 166 

A ' ' Ba//on D' Essai " 1 68 

his difficulty in finding places 

for ex-ministers 225-227 

distrust of his foreign policy 228 

bis memory, Sitting out a 

Debate 276, 277 

manner of speaking, Aitto- 

matic Gestures 323, 325 

extols the Primrose League, 

The Cult of the Primrose 384 

his literary training, A 

Struggling Journalist 405 

his salary as Lord Privy Seal 414,415 

The Lord Privy Seal 423 

his attitude towards Bishops, 

A Shy at a Bishop 431 

He was Snappish to the 

Archbishop of York 432 

his personality 433, 444 

Coruscating and Biasing 434 

References 30, 53, 130, 132, 

146, 147, 169 (n. ), 174, 182, 183, 
311, 312, 334, 335, 339, 342, 368, 
379. 385. 398. 400, 413, 428, 453, 

530. .S48 
J. E. H. Gascoyne Cecil, 4th 
Marquis of (Lord Cran- 
borne), references 109, 164, 

408, 417 

Sancho Panza, reference 212 

Sandhurst, 2nd Lord, Governor 

of Bombay, reference 302 

Saunderson, Colonel, reference 361 

Scarlett, James, Lord Abinger, 

1769-1844, reference 17 

Schleswig - Holstein, Prince 

Frederick Christian of, 

reference 283 

Scotch Public Health Bill 103 

Scott-Montagu, Hon. J. W. E. 

D. , his motor-car 462, 508, 509 



.406 



■99 



■57-59 
■•■499 



.80 
204 
37T 



Scott. C. P. : 

Editor Manchester Guardian, 

reference 
Mr., doorkeeper in the 

Commons 
William Montagu, an early 

nineteenth-century member 462 

Scale- Hayne, Rt. Hon. C, the 

Eton dinner originated bv, 

Some Old Etofi Boys 

Secretaries to the Treasury 

Secretary of .State for India. See 

Hamilton, Lord George 
Selborne, Roundell Palmer, ist 
Earl, Lord Chancellor : 
his hat 
Reference 
Sehvyn, Geo. A. , quoterl 
Serjeant-at-Arms : 

The Serjeant-at-Arms will go 

and fetch Him 282, 283 

References 3, 91, 99, 

100, 102, 172, 198, 254-256, 271, 

341-344. 419. 520 

his deputy 419 

Seven Bishops, trial of the 392 

Sexton, T. : 

An Ujicomfortable Position 76 

References 46, 192, 288, 450 

Shaftesbur}', Cropley Ashley, 6th 
Earl of : 
early nineteenth - century 

member 
Sir A. Ashley - Cooper, 7th 
Earl of (Lord Ashley), in 
Peel's Parliament 
.Shakespeare up to date 
Shah, the, reference 
Shand, A. B. , ist Lord, Lord 

of Appeal 
.Shaw- Lefevre, Charles. See 

Eversley, Viscount 
Shiel : 

Edward, his unheard speech 328 

Richard Lalor (1791-1851) : 
his speech at Penenden 

Heath 327 

Reference 95 

Shibboleth (Judg. xii. 6) with re- 
gard to Winston Churchill's 

pronunciation of the letter S 426 

Shipden, John, solicitor to Cinque 

Port Barons 467, 472 

Siam, King of, references 157, 409, 447 

Simpson, General, reference 315 

Sleeping habits 211 

Smith : 

Abel , reference 156 

Hon. W. F. D. , reference 450 



.462 



•94 
180 
136 

204 



574 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



Smith : ( Cont. ) : 

Sam, early nineteenth-century 

member 462 

Rt. Hon. W. H. : 

alters the period of the 

Session 25 

0/d Morality and Lord 

Randolph Churchill ■■83, 84 

makes a tour with Lord 
Derby, The Head of the 
Army and Chief of the 

Fleet 165 

reinstates the Wellington 
and Pitt relics at Walmer 
Castle 330, 331 

References 16, 132, 161, 450 

Smoking-room confidences 127 

Smollett, P. B. , reference 37 

Smyth, Major, Thackeray's step- 
father 327 

Socrates, reference 51 

Solicitor-General (1884). See 

Herschell, Lord 
Somers, John, Lord, Whig states- 
man, 1650-1716, reference 68 

Somerset, Lord Protector, refer- 
ence 35 

Southwell, Bishop of. Sec 

Ridding, Dr. 
Speaker, the 2, 6, 7, 8, 16, 18-22, 

26, 32-34, 37, 42, 55, 85, 86 et seq. 
See also Abercromby, Adding- 
ton, Brand, Denison, Gully, 
Onslow, Peel, and Shaw- 
Lefevre 
Speaker's eye, the : 

r Vaitiiig for an Opening 19 

Trying to catch the Speaker's 

Eye 19 

Missed 20 

Spectator, the newspaper, refer- 
ence 214 

Spencer, J. P. , 5th Earl, Lord 
Lieutenant of Ireland : 
dismisses Johnston of Bally- 

kilbeg 534 

References 62, 146, 251 

3rd Earl. See Althorp, Lord 
Rt. Hon. C. R. : 

/ am t20t an Agricultural 
Labourer ; ' ' Bobby " as he 

might have been 137 

Reference 302 

Spenser, Edmund, reference 28 

Stackpoole, Captain, reference 37 

Stalbridge, Richard de A. 
Grosvenor, ist Lord, Liberal 
Whip, 1880-86 : 
Reference 268 



Standard, the, reference 389 

Stanhope, Rt. Hon. Edward : 
secures Hickel's picture of the 

House in 1793 93 

Philip Henry, 5th Earl, his 
private note on Walmer 
Castle 329, 330 

Hon. P. J. , 4th son of 5th 

Earl, reference 430 

.Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn, Dean 
of Westminster : 

his attentive congregation 80 

Edward, early nineteenth-cen- 
tury member 463 

Edwai-d Geoffrey. 5*(? Derby, 

14th Earl 
Mr. See Derby, 14th F2arl 
Lord, eldest son of i6th Earl 
Derby, Financial Secretary 

to War Office, reference 408 

Stansfeld, James, 1820-1869, 

his intimacy with Mazzini 460 

Stephens, Sir J. Fitzjames : 

prosecutes Governor Eyre 143 

his summing up of the May- 
brick case 390 

Stone, -Sir Benjamin, his collec- 
tion of photographs, Sir B. 
Stone posing a Stibject 539-541 

Storey, Samuel, reference 15 

Strafford, Thomas W'entworth, 

Earl of, reference 68 

Strand Magazine, quoted 82 

Strangers' Gallery : 

A Terrible Offence 44 

Notice to Quit ; Eviction 45 

References 89, 90, 238, 242, 

254. 334. 393 
Stratford, Canon, temp. Queen 
Anne, his letter to Edward 
Harley 525, 526 

Sturt, Charles, member temp. 

George \\\. 462 

Sullivan, A. M. , reference 350 

Sultan, the, reference 308 

Sutherland : 

Duchess of, wife of 3rd Duke, 
receives Mr. Gladstone at 

Cliveden 154 

Sir Thomas, reference 79 

Swansea, H. Hussey Vivian, ist 

Lord, references 58, 149, 193, 

217, 450 

Swords and spurs in the House 1 72 

Sydenham, member for E.\eter 

1753, reference 392 

Sykes, Christopher : 

brings in a Bill, The Air of a 
Stolid Man surveying the 



INDEX 



575 



Sykes, Christopher: {Co?if.} : 
capering of a Cage oj 
Monkeys 256-258 

the King's enjoyment of the 

story 446, 447 

Take care of Dowb 314 

Talbot : 

Christopher : 

an early nineteenth-century 

member 95 

Reference 149 

Rt. Hon. J. G. , portrait 155, 156 

C. R. M., reference 217 

Miss, reference 6 

Talleyrand, Prince : 

visits Walmer Castle 329 

Talleyrand sleeping in Pitt's 

Bed 330 

Reference 147 

Tanner Dr. : 

gives the lie direct 519 

Judas ! Judas ! 520 

Reference 33 

Ta7itallo?i Castle, the 12, 356, 

359. 360 
Taunton, Henry Labouchere, 

Lord, member in 1833 94 

Taylour, Colonel, reference 270 

Teck: 

H. R. H. the Duke of, his 

interrupted speech 483, 484 

H. R. H. the Duchess of, 

reference 448 

Telephone, one of its disadvan- 
tages 106 

Midtiight Telephone, The 106 

Temple : 

Sir Richard : 

his career t6 

Ttirtis his Back on the 

House ..17, 18 

Frederick K., Archbishop of 

Canterbury, The Order of 

Precedence 424, 425 

Tenniel, Sir John, his earliest 

cartoon ••43. 44 

Terrace, the 360-363, 

References 413, 414, 541 

In Solitary State 1 76 

The Lord Chancellor ivielding 

the Teapot 363 

Terry, Miss Ellen, her tendency 

to stage fright 487 

Thackeray, W. M. : 

his lines on LalorSheil's speech 327 

letter quoted 382 

Reference 80 

Thin Red Line, The, its origin 171 



Thistleton-Dyer, Sir W. , opposed 
to planting trees on the 
Terrace 414 

Thompson, Poulett, an early 

nineteenth-century member 95 

Thomson, Dr. William, Arch- 
bishop of York, his hat 80 

Thorold, Dr., Bishop of Win- 
chester, references 432, 434 

Three Acres and a Cow, Ah, 
yes, I used to sing it but that 
was years ago 170 

Thynne, Edward, execution of 

his murderers, reference 392 

Tichborne claimant, references 89, 284, 

325 
Times, The : 

The Duke of Argyll writes to 

The Times 215 

References 13, 95, 148, 178, 179, 

201, 214, 327, 404, 408, 442, 475, 

488 

Trade in Parliament 406 

Trelawney, Sir John, his record 

of a Waggish Speaker 392 

Trevelyan : 
Sir George : 

his proposal to alter the 

period of the Session 24 

portrait 60 

his difficulties on the Home 

Rule question 61 

Chief Secretary for Ireland 62 

his efforts for the agricul- 
tural labourer 63 

withdraws from the Cabinet 183 

References 193, 287, 301, 340 

Lady, finds in her drawing- 
room the blood-stained coat 

of Lord Frederick Cavendish 62 

Truefitt, Mr., reference 370 

Twain, Mark, attends a long 

sitting of the Reichsrath 480 

Tweedmouth, Edward Marjori- 
banks, 2nd Lord : 
Lord Ttveedmouth and the 

New Rifle ...91, 92 

References 59, 274, 302 

Twelve o'clock rule, the 160 

Twentieth-century Ephraimite, a 425 

Typewritten petitions 172 

Under Secretary for Foreign 
Affairs. See Brodrick, W. 
St. J. ; Curzon, Lord ; and 
Cranborne, Viscount 

Under the Clock, reference 265 

Unrecorded sitting, an 200 

Unwin, Mr. Fisher, references 5, 98 



576 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



Vandyck, Sir Anthony, reference 364 

Vansittart : 

Nicholas, member for Old 

Sarum, 1808, references 395, 396 

Mrs., her dream 396 

Venus, Homer's distaste for 210 

Verney, Sir Harry, an early 

nineteenth-century member 95 

Vice - Chamberlain of Queen's 
Household. See Barring- 
ton, Lord 
Victoria, Queen : 

her accession 81 

last visit to Westminster 82 

Sir John Mowbray's reminis- 
cences of 174, 294 
Lord Rosebery's Pi-emiership 

suggested by 248 

declines (1839) to dismiss her 

Bedchamber women .... 249 

reluctantly sends, in 1880, for 

Mr. Gladstone 250 

spends a portion of her honey- 
moon at Walmer Castle 329 

her yachts 352 

her prayers for Parliament 398-400 
the leader's nightly letter 420, 421 

probable effects had she died 

during a General Election 422, 423 
her personal share in adminis- 
trative work 436-438 
wishes some of the Duke of 
Marlborough's pictures to 

be bought by the nation 439 

her Civil List 447 

her savings 448 

her grandchildren 450, 451 

her private fortune 477 

her nervousness in public cere- 
monials 487, 488 
transcript of proclamation 
announcing her death and 
successor 536, 537 
References 177, 223, 245, 311, 
315, 427, 462, 478, 479, 486, 510, 

SIS' 527 

Victoria and Albert, Queen's 

Yacht 352 

Villiers, Rt. Hon. C. P.: 

Father of the House, an early 

nineteenth-century member 95 

his Cabinet pension 261-264 

References 123, 148, 149, 151, 

217, 338, 462 
Vincent : 

Sir Edgar, reference 417 

Sir Howard, reference 417 

Vivian, Sir Hussey. See Swan- 
sea, Lord 



Waggish Speaker, a 392 

Wakley, Thomas, reference 338 

W'ales : 

Prince of, son of James II., 

birth of, reference 392 

Prince of (Duke of York), 

references 447, 449 

See Edward VII. and George 

IV. 
Princess of (Duchess of York), 

reference 244 

See Alexandra, Queen 

Walker, Sir Patrick, reference 246 

Walter John, reference 95 

Walmer Castle 329, 330, 464 

Walpole : 
Sir Robert : 

in Gravelot's Picture in the 

National Portrait Gallery 91 

references 17, 36, 47, 

48, 215, 216 
Horace, his account of a 
Cabinet Council of two 50, 51, 522 
Walrond, Sir William : 

On Guard ^ Sir IVi/liam 
ll'alro>id, Chief Conserva- 
tive Whip 268 

Reference 499 

Warcop, Sir Edmund, femf. 

Queen Anne 52:^ 

Ward : 

E. A. , sketch after 84 

Hon. R. A., his pay and 

allowance 165 

Warwick, Lord, temp. Charles L 

reference 510 

Waterloo, battle of, references 93, 295 
Watkin, Sir Edward : 

Channel tunnel. Burrowing 

Powers; The Timnel Terror ^^i-,{^2 

his peremptoriness 454 

a novel way of entertaining 

guests 455 

Watson, Lord, reference 204 

Webster, Sir Richard. See 
Alverstone, Lord 

W'edderburn, Sir W. , reference 430 

Weir, J. G. , reference 33 

Welby, Reginald E. , Lord, 

reference 58 

Wellesley, Sir Arthur, Irish 

Secretary 1808, reference 394 

Wellington, Duke of : 

his relics at Walmer Castle 331 

References 174, 249, 295. 

329. 330 
West, Sir Algernon, explains, 

Take caix of Dowb 314, 315 
Reference 325 



INDEX 



577 



Westminster : 

two famous trials 67 

Queen's last visit to 82 

dulness at 333 

Bridge : Daybreak on West- 
minster Bridge 1 60 

Hall : 

in the olden time 87 

Old Westtninster Hall 88 

in the Claimant' s day 89 

as seen by a foreigner 238 

References 14, 15, 408, 

409, 418, 419, 467-470, 511 
Wetherell, Sir Charles, father of 

parliamentary obstruction 318 

Whalley, Geo. H. : 

his mysterious taps 325 

Mr. Newdegate's pet aversion, 
Mr. Whalley as imagined 

by Mr. Newdegate 494 

Reference 37 

Wharton : 

Philip, Duke of, references . . 47, 48 
J. L. , member of the Civil 

List Committee, '89 449 

Wliewell, Dr., reference 17 

Whig and Radical dissentients 183 

Whips and Hats 267 

Whips' room, prizes of the 269 

Whitbread, Samuel : 

portrait 188 

a member of the same name in 

1796 462 

References 149, 450 

White : 

Henry, chaplain, an old story 

retold 309 

SirG. , reference 435 

White's Inner Life of the House 

of Commons, references 98, 100, 

101, 236 
Whitmore, John, member temp. 

George HI. 462 

Wilberforce, WiUiam, reference 463 

Wilkins, Mrs. , midwife in attend- 
ance at the birth of James 

the second's son 392 

William : 

n., German Emperor : 

The Imperial Nephew 446 

References 418, 445, 447 

the Conqueror, reference 35 

Rufus, reference 67 

III., King, references 392 422, 533 
IV., King: 

portrait after H. K. B. 249 

his Civil List 426, 478 

References 81, 174, 

248, 294 



Williams : 

John, Archbishop of York, 

1641 510 

Powell, references 128, 226 

Mr. doorkeeper, reference 99 

Willox, J. A., reference 406 

Wills Coffee House, reference 495 

Wilson : 

C. H. 156 

Joshua, M. A. , his Bio- 
graphical Memoirs, 1808, 
quoted 394-396 

Mr. , doorkeeper Ladies' 

Gallery, portrait 102 

Winchelsea, 9th Earl of, refer- 
ence 170 

1 2th Earl of : 

portrait 230 

References 228, 231 

Winchester : 

Bishop of. See Thorold, Dr. 
15th Marquis of, killed in 

South Africa 407 

Windsor : 

Castle, readership at 448 

Dean of, reference 320 

Lord, temp. Charles II. 271 

Winn, Rowland. See St. 
Oswald, Lord 

Winterbotham, A. B. , reference 193 

Wolff, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry 

Drummond, references 83, 132, 

373. 374. 384. 385 
Wolseley, Lord, references 339, 438 

Women's Suffrage Bill 21, 298 

Wordsworth : 

Dorothy, reference 160 

William, quoted 159, 160 

Working Classes (Housing) 
Act, its application to 

nuisances 104 

Workman's Compensation Bill, 

reference 133 

World, the, reference 265 

Wortley : 

Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart, refer- 
ence 462 

James Stuart, member temp. 

George III. 462 

Written speeches 473 

Wyndham : 

Rt. Hon. George, references 164, 226, 

227. 521. 532. 533 
Thomas, early nineteenth- 
century member 462 

Wynn : 

Miss, references ...81, 82 

Sir Watkin Williams, early 

nineteenth-century member 462 

2 P 



578 



LATER PEEPS AT PARLIAMENT 



Yachts, Queen Victoria's 352 

Yates, Edmund, references 77.78 

Yellow window blind, the, at 

Downing Street 49 

Yeomen of the Guard 222, 224 

Yeoman Usher 223 

Yerburgh, R. A. : 

his weekly dinners at the 

Junior Carlton Club 228 

The Pigtail Party 335, 336 



York: 

Archbishop of. See Maclagan, 
Thomson, and Williams 

Bishop of, temp. Charles 1 510 

Duchess of. See Wales, 
Princess of 

Duke of. See James II. and 
Wales, Prince of 
Young, Arthur, his autobio- 
graphy, reference 1 70 



THE END 



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